Nov. 24, 2004
Gainesville, Fla. (AP) - Taurean and Sidney Green certainly know how to define mixed emotions.
Freshman point guard Taurean Green sparked No. 23 Florida to a 90-45 victory Tuesday night over Florida Atlantic, the team coached by his father, a former NBA forward.
"It was weird seeing him over there during free throws and timeouts," the younger Green said of his father. "Other than that, it was like a regular game."
Taurean had eight points, five assists and zero turnovers in the first half as the Gators (2-0) went on two 15-0 runs and a 15-2 spurt before halftime, quickly putting away their home opener. Matt Walsh finished with 21 points for Florida.
"I'm very proud of my son," Sidney said. "I love my son like any other parent, any other dad would love their kid.
"I want what's best for him, and that's why he's here. A great coach, a great system, a bunch of great players on this team and he played very well."
Florida coach Billy Donovan said the younger Green did well despite being placed in the awkward position of trying to beat his father's team.
"I liken it to someone who leaves their home state and goes back home to play their state school," Donovan said. "Those are tough things.
"He handled it pretty well. He played very well right away. We were being pressed and trapped all over the floor, and he had no turnovers in the first half."
Taurean Green went to work right after entering with 15:20 left in the first half, sinking a 3-pointer and making a perfect pass for a layup in transition. He finished with eight assists, as many as any returning Florida player had in any game last year.
Florida scored the first nine points, led 45-19 at halftime and kept pulling away. The Gators flourished despite getting little from leading returning scorer Anthony Roberson, who had two points and three turnovers in 18 minutes, five fewer than Green, his backup.
"I don't know if our defense has ever been like that," Walsh said. "We never let up. It is fun when you go out there and play like that."
Donovan wasn't worried about Roberson.
"The great thing is a guy like Anthony Roberson goes 1-for-7 tonight, and we still scored 90 points," Donovan said.
Freshman Joakim Noah scored all 11 of his points in the second half and grabbed nine rebounds, showing no effects of the mononucleosis that kept him out of Florida's season opener against Jacksonville. David Lee and Chris Richard also scored 11.
Florida Atlantic (0-2) made the NCAA tournament in Sidney Green's third year but has won fewer than 10 games in each of his other four seasons. The Owls are off to another slow start this year, losing their opener to Florida International before running into Florida.
At least the Owls kept it closer than their only previous meeting with the Gators, a 100-42 loss in 2000 that was the fifth-largest in Florida history.