Gameday: No. 4/5 Florida Gators vs. Arkansas

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPNU/ESPNUHD (Tom Hart, Matt Doherty)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

No. 4/5 FLORIDA GATORS ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Mike Anderson
Record: 21-4 (11-2 SEC) Record: 17-9 (8-5 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -18.5 | O/U 138

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida leads the all-time series against Arkansas 15-11 with every victory coming under Donovan (15-6). The Gators are 8-2 at home in the series (8-0 under Donovan). The teams are meeting twice in the regular season for the first time ever.
» UF is looking to rebound from an 80-69 loss at UA on Feb. 5.
» Florida is undefeated at home this season (12-0) and looking to start 13-0 in the O’Dome for the sixth time under Donovan.
» Four Gators starters are averaging double figures in scoring. The Tigers have two players that score in double digits; each averages 15+ points per game.
» Florida is 46-4 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (20-3 in 2012-13).
» Arkansas has won three-straight games and five of its last six after starting 3-4 in league play over its first seven games.
» The Gators are 4-1 against top-25 opponents this season after going 3-5 against ranked adversaries last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams.
» UF is outscoring SEC opponents by an average of +20.8 points per game.
» Florida freshman guard Michael Frazier II (.506) is chasing school history as he looks to become the most proficient single-season three-point shooter ever at UF (Kenyan Weaks – .508).
» The Gators are second nationally in scoring margin (+20.7), third in scoring defense (53.0), seventh in field goal percentage (.493) and three-point shooting (9.0 per game), ninth in field goal defense (.374), 13th in assist-turnover ratio (1.39), 18th in assists (16.0), 20th in three-point percentage (.390) and 23rd in rebound margin (+6.3).
» Florida is also seventh nationally in fouling, committing 14.0 per game.
» The Razorbacks are second nationally in turnover margin (+6.5), 14th in steals (9.3), 16th in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.37) and 24th in assists (15.7).

Read the rest of the Florida-Arkansas preview with much more after the break!

WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH

FLORIDA
The Gators failed arguably their toughest test remaining in the regular season on Tuesday when it coughed up a 13-point second-half lead and fell to Missouri on Tuesday. Now Florida has an opportunity to get a measure of revenge (more on that below) against the only other SEC team to hand it a loss this season. Don’t get it twisted, the Gators are geared up to take on the Razorbacks and maintain their one-game lead in the SEC standings.

» Junior center Patric Young (#4) has had an up-and-down season in his third year at Florida. He has posted six double-doubles on the season but has also registered three rebounds in back-to-back games and has grabbed five or fewer boards in 11-of-25 games this campaign. In fact, Young has not registered double-digit rebounds without scoring in double figures. He only hauled in four rebounds to go along with nine points in the first meeting between these teams. Donovan is seeking consistency from his big man and UF’s most important post player (more on that below).

ARKANSAS
The Razorbacks’ biggest win of the season came at home against the Gators, and Arkansas is looking to double-up on their dominance of Florida on Saturday. UA is three games back of UF for first-place in the SEC standings but is only a tiebreaker away from earning a bye in the SEC Tournament. With five games left including a home contest against Kentucky and away game at Missouri, each final counts in a big way for an Arkansas team looking to make some noise.

» Junior forward Marshawn Powell (#33) is the straw that stirs the drink for the Razorbacks, averaging 15.1 points (second-most) and a team-high 5.3 rebounds while playing 25.3 minutes per game for Arkansas. He also registers 1.2 blocks per game, hits 70 percent of his free throws and shoots 43.9 percent from beyond the arc, making him an offensive threat no matter where he is on the court. Powell has the size and strength to take advantage of the Gators in the paint, which he did on Feb. 5 when he posted 11 points and six boards. He has also scored 20+ points in two of his last three games.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Senior G Kenny Boynton is in his fourth year as a starter for the Gators. He is quickly making his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists and is already first in school history in three-point field goals made (317) and attempted (921) and career starts (130). He currently leads the SEC in career points (1,913) and three-pointers among active players and is sixth all-time in SEC history in three-pointers made.

Career scoring
1. Ronnie Williams – 2,090 points
2. Andrew Moten – 1,930 points
3. Kenny Boynton – 1,913 points

Minutes
1. Erving Walker – 4,358
2. Kenny Boynton – 4,306

Field goal attempts
1. Stacey Poole – 1,578
2. Andrew Moten – 1,572
3. Kenny Boynton – 1,562

Field goals made
1. Ronnie Williams – 772
7. Udonis Haslem – 633
8. Kenny Boynton – 626

Games played
1. Walter Hodge – 151
7. Lee Humphrey – 136
8. Kenny Boynton – 133

Assists
1. Erving Walker – 547
9. Taurean Green – 397
10. Kenny Boynton – 370

Boynton is also approaching the top 10 in free throws made (six away – 343).

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Donovan on Florida getting more chances at the free throw line: “Certainly I think every team wants to get to the free throw line. We probably left some free throws out there. … when you miss front ends of one-and-ones, that’s an extra free throw you’re not getting a chance to take. I thought at times we were too perimeter-oriented in the game. … I thought we took too many threes in that game; I didn’t think we had a good enough balance. When we attack the paint – whether it’s the pass or a post-up or a drive, our offense is a lot better. We had too many possessions where we didn’t look to do that enough.”

» Donovan on making sure Young gets more touches in the paint: “When he gets fouls, that kind of forces him maybe not to play as many minutes. When he gets fouled, he’s got to go to the free throw line and make free throws. He had a couple front ends of one-and-ones he did not make. … He’s getting the ball. I would just like to see him, from my perspective, rebound better. I think there’s been six games this year where he’s had double figure rebounds. He [can] get double-figure rebounds in a lot of games just by running the floor, by him offensive rebounding, by him posting up and catching it when he needs to. And then he’s going to have to work there. … I think our guys are looking for him. Maybe he hasn’t taken a lot of shots, but sometimes when you look at the shots you got to look at the free throw line as well.”

» Donovan on Young scoring more: “He has to run the floor hard all the time, go to the offensive glass. [Doing those things] will provide more scoring opportunities for him. Where he catches the ball, sometimes we’ve got to do a better job of delivering it to him when he’s open, when he’s got post position. Those are things that we probably need to get better at.”

» Donovan on if Florida is looking for revenge: “The Arkansas game, they played very well at home. To me, we needed to learn why [we lost] and what we need to do better. In reality, that game has already passed. It has already been played. It’s in the record books. This is the next one that is in front of us.”

» Donovan on the Razorbacks being a much better home team: “Trends are not guaranteed. Trends are not something that is always going to happen. If you look at them, I think the one thing you want to look at is that they’ve progressed, they’ve gotten better, they’ve improved. … I expect Saturday will be another challenge for us regardless of where it’s played because they’ve gotten better. They’re a good team.”

» Donovan on the concept of “payback” in series games: “We had a chance to play the game up at Fayetteville. They beat us and beat us pretty handily. To me, that’s something that’s behind us right now. It’s not like all of a sudden if we win the game we get the Fayetteville game back. It doesn’t work like that. That game’s a loss. This is the next most important thing. I’ve never been a big believer in ‘payback.’ I don’t know what that means. What do you get back? This is the next game that’s in front of us. Maybe if they said, ‘Listen, if you win the game, they’re going to give you the [other win].’ Maybe then we’ll have payback. But I don’t see the point of payback. … I hope our motivation would be bigger than that.”

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