No. 23 Florida vs. No. 24 Vanderbilt Gameday

By Adam Silverstein
February 1, 2011

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 9:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 23 FLORIDA GATORS No. 24 VANDERBILT
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Kevin Stallings
Record: 16-5 (5-2) Record: 15-5 (3-3)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -4; O/U 139

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Vanderbilt leads the all-time series against Florida 63-56 and won both meetings last season. However, the Gators are 15-5 in their last 20 games against the Commodores; they are also 18-11 against them under Donovan including 11-3 at home and 8-1 in their last nine matchups in Gainesville.
» Florida has won 11 of its last 14 games with seven victories against RPI top 100 teams.
» A win Tuesday would give the Gators double-digit wins at home for the 14th consecutive year under Donovan.
» Florida is turning the ball over fewer than 10 times per game in SEC play and has turned it over in single digits in four of seven contests.
» Vanderbilt features players who, individually, lead the SEC leaders in points per game, assists per game and field goal percentage.
» The Commodores best the Gators in both points per game 78.8-71.4 (20th-120th) and field goal percentage .463-.458 (65th-81st) nationally. Vanderbilt and Florida are similar in their ability to rebound and dish the ball, averaging approximately 39 boards and 14 assists per game. UF ranks 19th in RPI (.6265) and 13th in strength of schedule nationally compared to VU being 22nd (.6214) and 24th, respectively.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Junior point guard Erving Walker…who is leading his team in scoring with 14.4 points per game and leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (43.0%) and three-point percentage (39.5%). He has single-handedly accounted for 45 of Florida’s 122 treys this season. Walker became the 47th player in school history to score 1,000 points, accomplishing the feat earlier this year.
» Senior forward Chandler Parsons…who is back to averaging double-digit points (10.3) while leading the Gators with 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
» Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin…who is shooting a team-best 57.8 percent this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game while being a major presence for Florida.
» Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton…who is arguably UF’s most talented player but is back in a slump after breaking out of one previously. Boynton is only shooting 36 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second on the team in scoring with 13.0 points per game and hits 81.5 percent of his free throws.
» Freshmen PG Scottie Wilbekin and C Patric Young…who are the Gators primary reserves averaging 17.3 and 17.0 minutes per game, respectively. Wilbekin, in relief of Walker, leads Florida in assist-to-turnover ratio (3:1), while Young averages 3.4 points and 3.6 boards off the bench.
» Vanderbilt G John Jenkins…who plays a team-high 34.1 minutes and is his team’s leading scorer (19.1 points per game). Jenkins also shoots 90.6 percent from the charity stripe, hits 41.5 percent of his three-pointers and leads the SEC in scoring average.
» Commodores F Jeffrey Taylor …who is his team’s second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder while playing the second-most minutes.

1/31: DONOVAN PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES (After the break…)

On if practices have been lighter to deal with fatigue: “As a coach you’re always walking that line of doing too much or not enough. You got to see where they’re at. I rely a lot on our trainer and our strength coach. There is also a level of work you have to do and get done. It doesn’t always need to be physical contact and banging. Sometimes the mental fatigue is more difficult and challenging than the physical fatigue.”

On correcting Florida’s free throw shooting woes: “There’s been some games where we’ve done a good job shooting the ball from the free throw line. Obviously there’s been some games where we haven’t done a very good job. On the road you want to try to put yourself in a position to win. I felt like the last 3-4 minutes of that game, I thought we had some pretty decent looks. You just have to keep working with them to try to get better. Shooting the ball, in a lot of ways, is mental. What I’ve got to try to do is instill confidence in them and to work with them on those things. Once they get up there to the line, they’re kind of on their own. There’s really not much I can do once they’re up there.”

On Boynton’s shooting struggles: “What Kenny’s got to do is find other ways to affect the game. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to shoot, but he can’t let his shooting affect his overall play. […] He’s a terrific defender. He’s gotten much, much better at handling, passing and making decisions. When his shot is not going down, I do think he feels internally that he’s letting the team down. He’s got to, from a maturity standpoint, understand that’s part of the game. I got confidence in him when he’s open shooting the ball; I want him doing that. He can’t let that affect his disposition or his attitude or his intensity on the floor when he’s playing.”

On the team’s turnaround offensively: “The more guys that you can have averaging double figures, the more offensive threats that we have. Our starting five has proven that, on any given night, any one of those guys can get 20 in a game. A lot of that is going to depend on our ball movement. That was one of the problems we were having when we went through that drought there for 6-7 games where we couldn’t score more than 60 points in a game. We were not utilizing each other the right way. We weren’t taking advantage of each other’s skill sets. We were missing each other too much.”

4 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Let’s go Gators! Beat the Dores!

  2. Ken says:

    That turnover stat was a suprise. As much as they turned it over in the preseason, I didn’t realize they were doing so much better with it now. Now, if only they could figure out how to hit free throws they would be undefeated in conference….

  3. Ken says:

    awesome win this is gonna be, but again, stinking free throws!

  4. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I think I aged about 20 years after watching this game. Still a very big win though.

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