Gameday: Florida Gators at S. Carolina Gamecocks

By Adam Silverstein
February 10, 2010

Location: Colonial Life Arena – Columbia, SC [Capacity: 18,000]
Time: 8:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network
Online Video: ESPN360
Live Updates: OGGOA on Twitter

Florida Gators South Carolina Gamecocks
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Darrin Horn
Record: 17-6, 5-3 SEC Record: 13-9, 4-4 SEC
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: South Carolina -1.5, O/U 138.5

KEEP AN EYE ON…
» The dynamic backcourt of…sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton who are averaging and controlling the backcourt 31.0 points and 7.9 assists per game in conference play this season.
» Speaking of Walker and Boynton…they have hit 46 of the Gators’ 59 treys in SEC play.
» Junior forward Alex Tyus…who is dominating the front court, averaging 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds over the last 14 contests. He has hit double figures in 13 of 14 games and scored 15+ in eight of those.
» The triumvirate of Walker, Boynton and Tyus…is combining for 45.7 of Florida’s 71.9 points per game in SEC play (63.6 percent).
» Double-digit scoring by Vernon Macklin…the Gators are 11-1 when the redshirt junior transfer center does so. He scored a career-high 20 points in Florida’s last game.
» Gamecocks senior guard Devan Downey leads his team in points (23.0) and assists (3.5) while averaging an amazing 30.9 points per game in conference play. He currently ranks first in the SEC in points, steals and free throws. Downey dominated the Gators with 36 points just a month ago.

STREAKS:
» Florida leads the all-time series against South Carolina 36-20. The Gators have won the last two meetings and 20 of the last 24 in the series.
» Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 20-9 against the Gamecocks; however, they lost 70-69 when they visited Colonial Life Arena in 2009.
» Over the last three seasons, no UF/USC game has been decided by more than four points, and nine of the last 11 meetings have been decided by six points or less.
» The Gators are 5-3 in games decided by five points or less compared to 4-6 in such games last season. Florida is 4-1 in the last five contests that were that close.
» UF is 6-0 in conference play when out-rebounding an opponent. The Gators have a +7.2 rebounding margin in their SEC wins and a -5.3 margin in all three losses.
» All five of Florida’s starters are averaging double-digits in points and are within 4.0 points of each other.
» South Carolina has a win over then-No. 1 Kentucky on its resume and is averaging 73.7 points per game on the season.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators at S. Carolina Gamecocks preview after the jump!

Coming off a win with a solid margin of victory for the first time in Jan. 27, the Florida Gators (17-6, 6-3 SEC) continue their quest to prove themselves as they head to Columbia, SC, to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks (13-9, 4-4 SEC) for the second time in less than three weeks.

Pulling off a miracle 58-56 win on Jan. 23 on the heels of a buzzer-beating three-pointer by junior forward Chandler Parsons, the Gators are 5-1 in their last six games with their sole loss being a one-point defeat on the road against the Tennessee Volunteers.

Senior center Vernon Macklin scored a career-high 20 points in Florida’s contest Saturday against the Mississippi State Bulldogs and, along with Parsons and junior F Alex Tyus, made up for poor production from sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton for a second-straight game. The backcourt duo hopes to rebound against a tough opponent and the most prolific shooter in the Southeastern Conference this season.

Gamecocks senior G Devan Downey is lighting up the SEC in points, steals and free throws while averaging an astounding 30.9 points per game in conference play. Downey leads South Carolina in points (23.0) and assists (3.5) and torched the Gators for 36 points in the teams’ last meeting.

However, Downey was held out of practice Tuesday after rolling his ankle on Monday. He is expected to play against Florida even though he has recently been seen wearing a walking boot (seemingly for precautionary reasons).

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