FOUR BITS: …on the Florida vs. Auburn game

By Adam Silverstein
February 18, 2010

1 » Florida Gators (17-8, 6-4) vs. Auburn TIgers (12-13, 3-7) Pre-Game:
Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST) | TV: ESPN | Online: ESPN360 | Odds: Florida -9, O/U 145

– Auburn leads the all-time series against Florida 87-68, though the Gators won 10 straight before falling to the Tigers in the 2009 SEC Tournament. Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 13-4 against Auburn and 6-0 in the O’Dome.
– 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.
– The Gators have been holding opponents to 58.8 points per game in their 17 wins while allowing the number to jump to 75.8 points per game in its eight losses.
– The Tigers are scoring 75.7 points per game with fourstarters averaging 13+ points.
– The dynamic backcourt of sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton is averaging 31.2 points and 7.5 assists in SEC 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 is dominant the front court, scoring double figures in 14 of 16 games and 15+ in eight of those. Tyus had a career-high 15 rebounds last Wednesday.
– Junior F Chandler Parsons nearly completed three straight double-doubles and is averaging 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over his last three contests.
– Double-digit scoring by redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin usually results in a victory. The Gators are 11-2 when he finishes in double figures. He had his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards against Xavier.
– Auburn guard DeWayne Reeds is fifth in the SEC in assists (4.3 per game).
– Tigers forward Lucas Hargrove averages 7.4 boards, sixth in the conference.

Florida must shoot better from the FT line and downtown while not looking ahead…

2 » Florida has had major issues from the charity stripe over the last two games, and Donovan does not seem to have an answer exactly why. “Could it be mental fatigue? Could it be physical fatigue? I don’t know,” he said. “We do work on it. If I knew the answer, we’d certainly try to resolve it and fix it, but I think those guys have got to kind of fix it themselves.”

3 » Also a struggle for the Gators recently is their three-point shooting. Usually one of the best from beyond the arc in the SEC, Florida is just 12-for-49 from downtown over the last three games. “We may have some games where we shoot the ball really, really great and there may be some games we don’t shoot the ball too well,” Donovan said. “There needs to be a collective team focus that we need to put some of those things away and really focus on the things we can control.”

4 » Though the Gators have some space to lose a game or two before the SEC Tournament, Thursday against Auburn cannot be one of them – and the players know this fact. “Everybody knows our goal is to make the NCAAs, but we know if we’re going to accomplish that we can’t look at the games ahead of us right now,” Parsons said. “We’ve got Auburn, and we’ve just got to take care of Auburn. We can’t look at Ole Miss.”

One Comment

  1. brlgator says:

    Just read a terrible story about the murder of a Vandy recruit in GA. He was supposedly a really good RB. Thoughts and prayers out to all those effected.

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