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Sack Lloyd Carr / NCAA Tournament Talk / Absolutely Stupid Pat Forde Article "Real Fab Five" - email this moron
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# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 03:53

Move over Michigan, Florida has real Fab Five

By Pat Forde

ATLANTA -- The NCAA already has stripped Michigan of its 1992 and '93 Final Four appearances. Now Florida has stripped that team of its nickname.

Forget the Wolverines' Fab Five. The Gators' starting unit is the real Fab Five.

Better. Cleaner (one certainly would hope). Tighter. Tougher.

And much more accomplished. After undressing UCLA 76-66 in Little Bighorn II, they're 40 minutes away from being repeaters. History beckons for one of the great quintets in the history of the game.

Their record is now 67-11 the past two years, after this group took over Billy Donovan's program and elevated it to new heights. That's strong by any measure, but March and April is when they morph from Fab Five to Infallible Five.

Postseason scoreboard the past two years: Gators 17, Haters 0. Their 17-game winning streak in conference/NCAA Tournament play is now the longest postseason run in college basketball since UCLA won 28 straight from 1967-73.

Now the only thing separating the Florida Fab Five from back-to-back is a team it blew up by 26 points in December.

The beauty of this group -- and to be fair, it probably should be the Super Six, with senior sub Chris Richard in the mix -- begins with its unity. Corey Brewer scored 15 first-half points, but he really got animated on the floor when teammate Lee Humphrey started lighting up the Bruins in the second half.

"Right now we're in the Final Four, and it's all about winning," Brewer said. "There's nothing about you. It's all about the team."

But while we've been treated to two straight seasons of unselfishness, don't underestimate this group's versatility. There is nothing the Florida Fab Five cannot do on a basketball court.

These Gators can pass, defend, shoot, rebound and handle the ball at every position. Searching for weaknesses in their individual and collective games is as futile as asking Ben Howland for a blueprint of how to beat them.

Saturday night in the Georgia Dome, Florida showcased its individual well-roundedness.

Al Horford plays center, but is the best passer on the team. His ability to fire passes out of UCLA double teams to open shooters was brilliant.

Humphrey is the team's best shooter, but he's also a wildly underrated defensive player. His tenacious face-guarding of UCLA point guard Darren Collison and refusal to allow open jumpers helped reduce the Bruins' offense to chaos.

The list goes on. Joakim Noah filled every line in his box score Saturday night except 3-pointers. Taurean Green can distribute, blow by or pull up (though this wasn't his night, going 1-for-7 from 3-point range). And Brewer is the most multitalented of the bunch, a fascinating amalgam of offensive and defensive skills.

"To me, the sign of a really good player is if you take away his strength, can you still play on the court, be an effective and productive player?" said Donovan, who might have just driven up the bidding from Kentucky by another half a mill.

"Al Horford can defend and rebound and score. Lee Humphrey can defend and he can shoot. Taurean Green can shoot, defend, run the team, gets guys shots. Corey Brewer can defend, he can shoot, he can slash, get out on the break. Joakim the same.

"I think we have guys, if you take away an area of their game, they can still do other things. ... They have a good understanding of what we need to do as a team to try and be as effective as we can."

Part of that understanding is knowing that a Fab Five beats a Fab One, Two or Three every time out. Once again, the Gator box score was a share-the-wealth masterpiece: Nobody took more than nine shots.

"We're playing against, I really do believe, one of the better college teams that has been around in a while," Howland said. "You're talking about two lottery picks inside. Brewer is going to be a top-20 pick when he decides to come out. I love Green and Humphrey as their guards. Richard coming off the bench is a great player. You've got to credit them."

And, if you're a Bruin fan, you've got to hope Florida's Oh-Fours all go pro to save you from ever seeing them again. In two Final Four meetings, UCLA has been killed twice.

The score this time was even more misleading than last year. Florida won by 16 in 2006 and 10 this time, and both games were maulings. The only stat more hollow than the final score was Arron Afflalo's 17 points.

The first-team All-American played miserably last year against the Gators and actually was worse Saturday night.

He committed an unbelievably silly second foul, grabbing Humphrey's jersey while trying to stay with him on an inbounds play just 110 seconds into the game. Reinserted in the lineup at the 14:56 mark, Afflalo lasted just 3 minutes before getting his third foul on a hard Brewer drive to the rim.

With Afflalo taking himself out of the game and Collison handcuffed, Josh Shipp was UCLA's last stud standing. He kept the Bruins in the game until Humphrey started draining 3s, and Florida mounted an all-out assault on the offensive glass against a badly overmatched UCLA front line.

The play that put the Gators up double digits for good perfectly encapsulates the UCLA-Florida "rivalry" of the past two seasons.

A Humphrey 3 bounced off the rim high into the air. In the battle for the rebound, Noah shed UCLA center Lorenzo Mata, sending him tumbling to the floor. Noah then rose unimpeded and flushed the follow shot.

Noah, Horford and Richard all dunked rebounds on the heads of the cowed Bruins, who could have used star recruit Kevin Love right now. Those easy and emphatic points will be harder to come by Monday night, at least as long as Greg Oden can stay out of foul trouble.

But Oden will need help against the Gators. Lots of help. It will take everything -- and everyone -- the Buckeyes have to keep the true Fab Five from their place in history.

Pat Forde is a senior writer for He can be reached at

# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 03:54 Edited by: BlueBobcat

Webber, Howard and Rose would chew this soft Florida team up and spit them out........Sports writers get on my last nerve. They have shorter memories then OSU fans. I've seen this idiot comment on the NFL draft and he has no freakin clue what he's talking about............I would encourage everyone to email this bafoon.

# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 08:52

If this group is so much better, where were they their freshman year?

Blue Is Nice 
# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 09:07

If this group is so much better, where were they their freshman year?

Ford is just doing a really bad job of stretching to find material during a Tourney thats pretty uneventful. Its not really a problem with the lame brain writers, but rather a problem with organizations like ESPN that pay guys like Cowterd, Rome, Corso & Danielson. There's a big market out there and they intend to fill it up with anything they have, bs or not.

# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 11:43

Pat Forde's credibility lowered a notch, in my opinion, when he said this past fall that Alabama-Auburn was the best college football rivalry. A few days later he admitted to rethinking his decision and named UM-OSU the greatest rivalry.

I would have accepted his change of heart if he wasn't working for the company that aired the game (abc/espn/disney). It just seemed that after his first comments he got a 'talking to' by one of his bosses and changed his mind to advocate a game being played on his network versus the one he really felt was the best (which aired on cbs).

This article BlueBobcat points out shows his SEC bias. If any compare to the Fab Five, then its OSU. Why aren't these gators being compared to the Duke teams of the '90s? IF they repeat they'll be the first since those blue devils.

Mike Furley 
# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 15:06

This article BlueBobcat points out shows his SEC bias. If any compare to the Fab Five, then its OSU. Why aren't these gators being compared to the Duke teams of the '90s? IF they repeat they'll be the first since those blue devils.

Good ponts all.

I really think Duke's back to back championship teams, the one that won the first year beat a superior UNLV squad. I would liken Florida more to that UNLV squad than to Duke or U of M's Fab Five, and it is possible Florida may meet the same fate as that UNLV squad on Monday.

OSU's Thad Five (4 freshman + 1 JUCO) doesn't compare to the Fab 5 either. Webber and Howard were both better than Oden, and Rose and Connely are about even, though their style of play differs.

Cook and Lighty are closer comparisons to Jackson and King.

Buckeye Nation 
# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 15:33

Webber and Howard were both better than Oden

No way was Howard better than Oden his freshman year. Webber yes, Howard, no. Comparing Florida to the fab 5 is like comparing apples and oranges. Like stated above, Florida should be compared to the Duke teams, hopefully Tuesday they are compared to UNLV.

Howard 11.1 Pts a game, 6.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, .4 shot blocks a game
Oden 15.4 pts a game, 9.5 rpg, .6 apg, 3.3 shot blocks a game

Blue Is Nice 
# Posted: 1 Apr 2007 15:41

No way was Howard better than Oden his freshman year

Thats a tough comparison. They are very different players. Howard was a much better scorer, he had a fade away like sheed.

# Posted: 2 Apr 2007 06:34

Gotta remember that Howard had more back up than Oden--UM didn't need to lean as much on Howard as OSU does on Oden.

I still think Webber threw that game on purpose--he's all about 'getting paid'.

# Posted: 2 Apr 2007 07:11

As bad as the timeout CWebb called was, the kid had a great Final Four. The semifinal against Kentucky was one the best games I can remember watching. He was awesome in the final four. Looking back it is kind of a blessing they lost.

I remember the first game they all started against Duke in the regular season and I told friends after that game that Michigan would make it to the final four. Jalen was smooth on the point and money at the line in crunch time.

UM Knife 
# Posted: 2 Apr 2007 07:45

I was at that game. Actually sat next to Webb's parents. He carried us against Kentucky and he was doing the same against UNC. It was a shame he called that time out because he did not deserve the blame he received. Without him we would not have been in that game.

# Posted: 2 Apr 2007 09:37

with OSU being so young, I actually think OSU would be more of a "fab five" than florida.

I hate both teams, I don't know who I want to win now. Noah is such a c*cky bastard too.

I think I will be pulling for OSU. f*ck florida

# Posted: 2 Apr 2007 09:42 Edited by: Todd

The "Fab Five" received their name due to the extremely talented Freshmen that Michigan floored. They were trend setters. The baggy shorts and black socks...they got everyone's attention. These Florida boys (and one girl), are far from underclassmen, and they are far from grabbing everyone's attention. The whole comparison makes no sense!!! There have been several teams as good as, and better than Florida. But, there's never been a Freshmen class as good as the "Fab Five." Forde's an idiot for making that stupid analogy!!!

I'll definitely be pulling for tosu.

# Posted: 2 Apr 2007 11:14

I agree. Comparing the UM fab five to Florida is pretty silly. OSU is definately starting more frosh talent that UF.

Sounds like FORDE was getting close to a deadline and had to pump out some garbage to just get something in on time.

The 1st sentence is pretty F*cking stupid. Who's comparing those teams other than him???


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