Florida Gators vs. No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers

By Adam Silverstein
January 31, 2010

Location: Thompson-Boiling Arena – Knoxville, TN [Capacity: 21,000]
Time: 1:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: CBS/CBSHD
Online: CBSSports.com

Florida Gators No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Bruce Pearl
Record: 15-5, 4-2 SEC Record: 15-4, 3-2 SEC
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Tennessee -8, O/U 141

KEEP AN EYE ON…
-The dynamic backcourt of…sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton who are averaging 37.2 points (almost half of the team’s 75.3 total points) and 8.7 assists per game in SEC play this season.
– Speaking of Walker and Boynton…they have hit 39 of the Gators’ 45 treys in SEC play, and Walker is shooting 62.2 percent (23-of-37) from downtown in conference action.
– Junior forward Alex Tyus…who is dominating the front court, averaging 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds over the last 11 contests. He has hit double figures in 11 straight games and scored 15+ in six of those ten.
– Double-digit scoring by Vernon Macklin…Florida is 10-1 when the redshirt junior transfer center does so.
– Buzzer-beaters from Chandler Parsons…the junior forward has hit two game-winning three-pointers in January. He is also averaging 10.6 points and 6.5 boards per contest.
– Senior center Wayne Chism…who leads the Volunteers in rebounding (6.9) and blocks (1.4). He also accounts for a solid 11.8 points per game.
– Sophomore guard Scotty Hopson…who is tops on Tennessee in scoring with 13.8 points per game.

STREAKS:
– Tennessee leads the all-time series 68-48, winning 10 of the last 13 meetings.
– Last season, the Volunteers swept the series; they have won the last five meetings against the Gators (since 2007).
– Florida has not won in Knoxville since 2005, and head coach Billy Donovan is 12-14 against Tennessee.
– The Gators are on a four-game winning streak, their longest in SEC play since 2007.
– Allowing 95 and 89 points to its first to SEC opponents, the Gators have held teams to 62.8 points per game during their four-game winning streak. Florida is 10-1 this season when holding opponents to 60 points or less and 120-2 all-time under Donovan.
– The Gators are out-rebounding their opponents by 5.2 boards during their four-game winning streak.
– Tennessee defeated then-No. 1 Kansas earlier in the season and also has a quality win over rival Memphis.
– As a team, the Volunteers are forcing 19.1 turnovers per game, averaging 78.7 points per game and hitting 47.1 percent from the floor.

Read OGGOA’s Gators vs. No. 14 Volunteers preview after the jump!

Previously on a seven-game winning streak that lasted through the new year, the No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers (15-4, 3-2 SEC) have dropped two straight contests. The Florida Gators (15-5, 4-2 SEC) head into Knoxville, TN, on a four-game win streak with two road victories and are also 7-2 in their last nine games.

While the two teams may look very similar on paper, each has been forced to deal with adversary this season in its own unique way. Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl faced the arrests of four players including senior forward Tyler Smith, junior point guard Melvin Goins, junior center Brian Williams and sophomore guard Cameron Tatum. Tatum was driving a car that was speeding, smelled of marijuana and contained a bag of pot, open container of alcohol and an unlicensed handgun. Pearl would indefinitely suspend all four players, though he has reinstated Tatum and Goins since.

Florida head coach Billy Donovan, on the other hand, has seen a rash of injuries hit his program. It was quickly determined that redshirt sophomore F Adam Allen would be out for the season, and sophomore center Kenny Kadji has been sidelined for the duration with a bad back. Junior F Chandler Parsons and sophomore G/F Ray Shipman have been banged up all season, though each has missed limited time.

The Gators are led by the triumvirate of sophomore PG Erving Walker, junior F Alex Tyus and freshman G Kenny Boynton, each of whom is bringing something different to the table for Florida. Walker has been a surgeon from beyond the arc while Tyus has controlled the paint and added a jump shot. Boynton is the playmaker of the bunch, recently learning to slash to the hoop and create plays cold from downtown.

Senior C Wayne Chism and sophomore G Scotty Hopson have run the show for the Volunteers. Chism leads Tennessee in boards and blocks while averaging double-digit points on the season, and Hopson is the team’s top scorer with 13.8 points per game.

Sunday’s contest is an important one as both teams are making a play for the Southeastern Conference‘s East division title. The Gators and Volunteers are also looking to separate themselves from the pack when it comes to selection in the 2010 NCAA Championship Tournament.

One Comment

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    tough loss

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