Who knew at the beginning of the year that this game could decide the SEC regular season champ? With us losing to the likes of St Peter's, Iowa, and Providence while Florida was losing to Jacksonville, UCF, and getting curb stomped by Ohio State at home it didn't seem like these 2 teams would be anywhere close to competiting for the SEC title. Conference game #15 with both clubs coming in at 11-3... let's get it on!
The Gators have a 4 prong attack (all averaging double figures) in Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton, Chandler Parsons, and Vernon Macklin with Alex Tyus also putting in 8.7 a game. They have the ability to score in bunches, but yet only average 70.8 PPG. They love to shoot the 3, yet marginally successful (34.4%), but if you saw them against UGA last week you know they can get in the zone and bury you. The one guy we really need to defend out there is Parsons... who is their best shooter.
Defensively, the Gators are almost as stingy as we are, giving up only 62.2 PPG. They also average 6.1 steals, block 3.7, and create 13 turnovers a game. Size wise they are going to challenge us inside with 4 on the roster over 6'8" that actually see meaningful minutes.
If we are to beat the Gators we're going to have to expose them on the dribble drive. We REALLY need Releford to find that magic again. If he doesn't and the Gators pack it in, it won't be pretty watching Davis and Hillman trying to shoot over it.
Keys to the game:
- keep UF runs to a minimum
- defend the perimeter and REBOUND the long miss
- someone needs to find their stroke from outside (Steele?)
- Green and Hines need to stay out of foul trouble
Prediction: It's senior night and I think the last time we won at Gainesville was 1995. While this might be our best shot in a while to end this, I can't see the Gators losing on senior night. We keep them close, but the better team wins with a late run to ice it. Gators by 8.
Game time is 7PM EST (6PM CST) on ESPNU.