Gameday: No. 3 Florida Gators at Tennessee

Location: Thompson-Boling Arena – Knoxville, TN [Capacity: 21,678]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(3) FLORIDA GATORS TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin
Record: 21-2 (10-0 SEC) Record: 15-8 (6-4 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -2 | O/U: 128

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Tennessee leads Florida 72-53 in the all-time series with the Gators just 17-18 against the Vols under Donovan. UF is 16-44 at UT and 5-12 in series road games coached by Donovan having not won in Knoxville since Jan. 11, 2011. Tennessee has also won seven of the last eight games against Florida in its home arena.
» Martin is 3-1 against Donovan since taking over the Vols.
» An unranked UT team is hoping to knock off a ranked UF squad for the 12th time.
» Florida and Tennessee are squaring off for the second time this season after the Gators earned a dominant 67-51 victory over the Volunteers in Gainesville, FL two weeks ago on Jan. 25 to break a three-game losing streak to their SEC East rivals.
» UF is currently riding a school-record 29-game home winning streak (second-longest in the nation). Florida extended a program record Saturday by recording its 15th consecutive home win against league opponents.
» The Gators have opened league play with a 10-0 record for just the second time under Donovan. The school record for best SEC start is 11-0, set in 2007.
» Florida is on a 15-game winning streak and has won 20 of its last 21 games.
» The Gators are 73-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF has started 21-2 through 23 games for the second time in school history. The first time the Gators achieved that mark, they won the national title (2006-07). In 2005-06, UF opened the season 20-2.
» Florida is 9-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. UF is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators defeated top-15 teams in consecutive games for the fourth time in program history and first time ever in non-conference regular season play.
» Florida is 2-2 against ranked opponents this season with both losses coming in true road games and the victories occurring in a home contest and neutral-site game.
» The Gators are 5-2 in true road games this season.

Read the rest of the Florida-Tennessee preview…after the break!


WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH

FLORIDA
The Gators have faced a number of challenges this season – injuries, suspensions and the like – but will be faced with another tough test Tuesday when they visit the Volunteers and play their first of four road contests in a five-game stretch. Florida is taking on a Tennessee team looking for revenge after UF earned a dominant 67-51 victory over UT just 17 days ago. A win would continue many of the Gators’ winning streaks and increase their confidence on the road, while a loss would be a tough way for UF to start off this stretch of games.

» Senior forward Will Yeguete (#15) has been a breath of fresh air for Florida over the last three games, combining for 23 points and 19 rebounds in those contests while hitting 10-of-16 shots from the field. Neither an offensive powerhouse nor a player whose contributions often show up on the box score, Yeguete has made major gains over the last week. It appears as if his chronic knee injury is no longer bothering him as much, which is great news for UF as enters another tough series of contests.

TENNESSEE
The Volunteers have put up a fight in their two ranked losses this season and are 4-1 in SEC home contests with a 19-point victory Saturday over South Carolina. With a .652 winning percentage and a dwindling hope of turning things around en route to an NCAA Tournament berth, Tuesday’s meeting may be Tennessee’s last chance (save for a run in the SEC Tournament) to make a case that it deserves to be considered for top-tier postseason action.

» Junior F Jarnell Stokes (#5) regularly dominates Florida on the boards when the teams meet and was his squad’s best player – by far – on Jan. 25 when he posted 16 points and a game-high 10 boards. That makes 24 rebounds for Stokes in his last two games against UF. Averaging a UT team-high 10.3 boards per game to go along with 14.4 points per contest, Stokes will have to put together a big game for the Vols in order for Tennessee to pull off the upset bid.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Senior center Patric Young is one of four true seniors on the roster but the only one steadily inching his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists. He has played in 134 career games and will only add to his totals as the season progresses. Earlier this season, Young became just the 50th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.

Games Played
1. Walter Hodge – 151
8. Erik Murphy / Lee Humphrey – 136
10. Patric Young – 134

Scoring
38. Al Bonner – 1,157
39. Joakim Noah – 1,133
40. Patric Young – 1,124

Blocked Shots
1. Dwayne Schintzius – 272
6. Eugene McDowell – 150
7. Patric Young – 143

Field Goal Percentage (minimum 500 attempts)
1. Dwayne Davis – .641
4. Eugene McDowell – .597
5. Patric Young – .588
5. Al Horford – .588

Dunks (unofficial statistic)
1. Dwayne Davis – 168
4. Alex Tyus – 146
5. Patric Young – 130
5. Joakim Noah – 130

Wins at an SEC school
1. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) – 875
2. Dale Brown (LSU) – 448
3. Billy Donovan (Florida) – 436

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4 Responses to “Gameday: No. 3 Florida Gators at Tennessee”

  1. cline says:

    upcoming events shows this @9pm. i am guessing its @7?

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    mildly surprised we are only 2 point favorite. Despite history, this is a different team than others and already manhandled once. I would love to see Walker get some minutesto work on Stokes, see if he can take out some of his rebounding (and maybe see how far he has progressed so far) Granted UT is tough on the road, but hopefully not a tense game. I like blowouts that don’t depend on free throws at the end…

    • Michael Jones says:

      Ha ha. . don’t we all!

      Stokes is a MAN who is all that Patric Young can handle. Not sure Chris’s body is ready for that challenge yet. Stokes is incredibly strong and can push defenders around once he gets into them. Hard to handle. Explosive, too.

      Away games in the SEC are a whole different deal. Agree that we’re stronger mentally this year, but we could still lose this game. I was pleasantly surprised to see that we’re only a 2 point favorite. Seems more realistic.

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