Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
|FLORIDA GATORS||AUBURN TIGERS|
|Head Coach: Billy Donovan||Head Coach: Bruce Pearl|
|Record: 9-6 (2-0 SEC)||Record: 9-6 (1-1 SEC)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
Odds: -15 | O/U 128
HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS
» Auburn leads Florida 87-75 in the all-time series between the programs, but the Gators are 20-4 against the Tigers under Donovan with seven-straight victories and wins in 17 of the last 18 meetings between the schools. UF is also 9-0 against AU under Donovan in Gainesville.
» Donovan was 5-8 against Pearl when Pearl was leading Tennessee from 2005-11.
» The Gators were 86-10 over the last three seasons when holding opponents under 71 points in a game; UF is 8-5 this season when doing so.
» Florida has put forward 10 different starting lineups in 15 regular-season games. Overall, 10 players have started at least one game for UF this season.
» The Gators learned to win close games last season, going 15-2 in contests decided by single digits; Florida is 3-5 in such affairs this season.
» UF is on pace for 18.6 wins in the regular season while looking for its 17th consecutive season with 20+ victories. Florida’s 16-straight campaigns with that many wins is the longest streak in the SEC and fifth-longest nationally. Only eight coaches have ever won 20+ games in 14+ consecutive seasons.
» Earlier this season, Miami snapped Florida’s program-record 33-game home winning streak, which dated back to Nov. 11, 2012, and was the second-longest in the nation. The Canes also broke the Gators’ school-record 25-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents, which dated back to Dec. 22, 2010.
» Florida is on two program-record winning streaks – 23-straight games against SEC opponents overall (since Jan. 8, 2014) and 19-straight SEC games at home (since Jan. 9, 2013). UF has also won a school-record 11-in-a-row over SEC opponents on the road (since Jan. 11, 2014).
INJURIES AND ABSENCES
» Active (1): Redshirt senior center Jon Horford (suspension)
» Probable (1): Redshirt junior guard Eli Carter (foot), junior G Michael Frazier II (illness)
» Out (2): Sophomore center John Egbunu (transfer – season), freshman G Brandone Francis (academics – season)
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Off to a hot start at 2-0 in SEC play, the Gators are healthy and motivated. Florida faces a two stretch with two games in the next three days but can start it off on the right foot with a victory over Auburn and Donovan’s long-time nemesis, Pearl. The Tigers are still in the middle of being rebuilt and are primed for a beating in the O’Dome. Whether the Gators will actually be able to deliver one remains to be seen and could speak to how successful Florida will be able to be over the remainder of its conference schedule.
Still in his first year at Auburn, Pearl is looking for a signature win; except for Kentucky, there is no better program to get that against in SEC play than Florida. Pearl (while at Tennessee) earned an 8-5 record against Donovan and there should be no doubt that he understands how to game plan against the Gators. Whether his Tigers will be able to follow through in that charge remains to be seen, of course. Auburn has everything to gain and nothing to lose as it enters the House of Horrors on Thursday evening.