Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Xavier Musketeers

By Adam Silverstein
February 13, 2010

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 6:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: ESPN / ESPNHD
Online Video: ESPN360
Live Updates: OGGOA on Twitter

Florida Gators Xavier Musketeers
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Chris Mack
Record: 17-7 Record: 16-7
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic 10
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -4, O/U (OFF)

KEEP AN EYE ON…
» The dynamic backcourt of…sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton who are averaging 31.5 points and 7.9 assists per game in conference play this season.
» Speaking of Walker and Boynton…they have hit 51 of the Gators’ 64 treys in SEC play. Walker has gone for 20+ points in five of 10 SEC games.
» Junior forward Alex Tyus…who is dominating the front court, averaging 14.7 points and 7.9 rebounds over the last 15 contests. He has hit double figures in 14 of 15 games and scored 15+ in eight of those. Tyus had a career-best 15 rebounds Wednesday.
» Junior F Chandler Parsons…who has back-to-back double-doubles and four on the season (six for this career). He has also been helping dish the ball with six assists in each of his last two games.
» The duo of Tyus and Parsons…who are combining for 15.6 rebounds per game during SEC play including 26 on Wednesday night.
» Double-digit scoring by Vernon Macklin…the Gators are 11-1 when the redshirt junior transfer center finishes in double figures.
» Musketeers guard Jordan Crawford leads both his team and the A-10 in scoring at 19.7 points per game.

STREAKS:
» Xavier leads the all-time series against Florida 1-0, with their sole win coming in the Hurricane Classic in Miami, FL, on Dec. 28, 1959. The Musketeers won 86-74.
» This is the first time the Gators have played a non-conference opponent during SEC play since 2003.
» Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 4-3 against the Atlantic 10; they lost earlier this season to the Richmond Spiders 56-53.
» The Gators have been holding opponents to 58.8 points per game in their 17 wins while allowing the number to jump to 75.7 points per game in their seven losses.
» Florida is 11-2 at home this season and 80-10 in the O’Dome since 2005.
» 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 now 6-1 in conference play and 12-2 overall when out-rebounding an opponent after losing to South Carolina on Wednesday.
» Xavier has a win over then-No. 19 Cincinnati this season and leads the A-10 in scoring offense (79.4) and three-point shooting (39.4 percent).
» The Musketeers have reached two Elite Eights and a Sweet 16 in the last six years.
» Florida will honor the 2000 NCAA Championship runner-up team at halftime.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Xavier Musketeers preview after the jump!

The Florida Gators (17-7) are trying to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive as they host the Xavier Musketeers (16-7) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL, in the first half of a two-year home-and-home series.

Leading for most of the game Wednesday against South Carolina, Florida folded in the end after turning the ball over a season-high 20 times and shooting poorly from the free throw line. A loss Saturday could send the Gators’ season into a tailspin, but a win could get them back on track for their first NCAA Tournament berth in three years.

Xavier brings a high-powered offense into the House of Horrors, one that leads the Atlantic-10 in scoring offense and three-point shooting. In fact, three of the four best three-point shooters in the conference all play for the Musketeers. Though guard Jordan Crawford leads Xavier most nights, Florida’s leader seemingly changes with every game.

The team’s starting five – sophomore point guard Erving Walker, freshman guard Kenny Boynton, junior forward Chandler Parsons, junior F Alex Tyus and redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin – have all come through in one game or another, but the Gators too often find that they are not all on the same page at once. Consistency and ball control will be the keys for Florida to pull out a victory on Saturday.

2 Comments

  1. liveoak87 says:

    Keys to the game.
    1. reduce turnovers
    2. make free throws
    3. come at the second half with some energy.

  2. Wingtee says:

    1 nope
    2 nope
    3 nope

    4 I m truly sick of this. We are … I don’t even want to think about it. This team has quit and so have I. ready for gator baseball, at least they care

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