Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST
|(1) FLORIDA GATORS||LSU TIGERS|
|Head Coach: Billy Donovan||Head Coach: Johnny Jones|
|Record: 26-2 (15-0 SEC)||Record: 17-10 (8-7 SEC)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
|Roster | Schedule||Roster | Schedule|
Odds: Florida -11.5 | O/U: 137.5
HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS
» The Gators won the outright 2014 SEC regular-season title and clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament on Thursday after Kentucky lost and gave UF a four-game lead in the league standings with three contests left to play.
» LSU leads Florida 42-60 in the all-time series between the two programs with the Gators holding a 13-8 edge over the Tigers under Donovan. UF is 26-19 all-time at home against LSU (5-3 under Donovan) and has won five-straight games against their league rivals.
» The Gators enter Saturday’s game on a program-record 20-game winning streak and at 15-0 have set a UF mark for most conference wins in a single season. Its 26 wins are also the most the Gators have captured in a single season.
» Florida is also on two school-record home winning streaks – 30-straight overall and 15-in-a-row against league opponents.
» The Gators at 26-2 (15-0 SEC) have set a program mark for best overall start to a season. UF has also won 25 of its last 26 games.
» Florida has won eight-straight SEC road games, also a program record.
» The Gators are 77-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF is 13-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. Florida is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators are 10-2 in true road games this season with both losses coming against ranked opponents during the first month of the season. UF lost those contests by a combined seven points.
» March 1 is the latest in a season that Florida has been ranked No. 1 nationally.
» The Gators’ senior class is the first in school history to win three SEC championships.
PRE-GAME READING MATERIAL
Freshman point guard Kasey Hill (groin) is active, redshirt sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith has rebounded from a major slump, and the Gators are doing their best to ignore the hype of locking up the SEC title. Read all about it.
REMEMBERING THE PAST
Florida on Saturday will honor the basketball program’s first-ever SEC Championship team when it hosts the 1988-89 squad in the O’Dome for a special ceremony. Players, coaches and staffers from the team that beat LSU exactly 25 years ago to clinch the Gators’ first SEC basketball title will be in attendance for a halftime event.
Notably absent on Saturday will be former star center Dwayne Schintzius (1968-2012) and head coach Norm Sloan 1926-2003), both of whom have passed away. Sloan’s widow will not be in attendance either as she will be attending a 1974 NCAA Championship ceremony also scheduled Saturday in Raleigh, NC (Sloan coached N.C. State from 1966-1980).
Read more about the 1988-89 team on Florida’s school website.
» Senior center Patric Young (#4) has performed at an extremely high level in February in what is one of the best stretches of his career. In addition to averaging over 11 points and six rebounds per game, Young is shooting 76.5 percent from the free throw line over the last eight games, draining 26-of-34 attempts at the charity stripe. The high rate has hitting over 60 percent of his freebies on the season for the first time since 2010-11. He is also in the conversation for SEC Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year considering how important he has been to the Gators’ success this season.
» Junior F Johnny O’Bryant III< (#2) has been the straw that stirs the drink for the Tigers this season, averaging team-highs of 15.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. With seven double-doubles this season (three in the last six games), O’Bryant has helped lead LSU to wins over then-No. 11 Kentucky and Arkansas in league play. He is also a big reason why the Tigers are 41st nationally in scoring (77.3 points per game) and ninth in rebounding (40.5 boards per contest). O’Bryant and Young will undoubtedly go head-to-head throughout Saturday’s contest.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
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 139 career games and will only add to his totals as the campaign progresses. Earlier this season, Young became just the 50th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
Most Wins by a Senior Class
1. Walter Hodge (2009) – 117
2. Lee Humphrey / Chris Richard (2007) – 112
3. Casey Prather / Scottie Wilbekin / Will Yeguete / Patric Young – 110
1. Walter Hodge – 151
6. Dan Werner / Chris Richard – 141
8. Patric Young – 139
34. Hans Tanzler – 1,221
35. Patric Young – 1,181
1. Dwayne Schintzius – 272
6. Eugene McDowell – 150
7. Patric Young – 145
Field Goal Percentage (minimum 500 attempts)
4. Eugene McDowell – .597
5. Al Horford – .588
6. Ronnie Williams – .585
7. Udonis Haslem – .584
8. Patric Young – .583
Dunks (unofficial statistic)
1. Dwayne Davis – 168
4. Alex Tyus – 146
5. Patric Young – 132
1. Udonis Haslem – 409
6. Dwayne Schintzius – 339
7. Patric Young – 334
Wins at an SEC school
1. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) – 875
2. Dale Brown (LSU) – 448
3. Billy Donovan (Florida) – 441