Gameday: No. 9/11 Florida Gators at Kentucky

By Adam Silverstein
March 8, 2013

Location: Rupp Arena – Lexington, KY [Capacity: 23,000]
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST

TV: CBS/CBSHD (Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: CBSSports.com | Mobile Video: CBSSports app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

No. 9/11 FLORIDA GATORS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 24-5 (14-3 SEC) Record: 20-10 (11-6 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6 | O/U 132

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Kentucky is 93-34 (.732) in the all-time series with Florida though its advantage dips to 22-14 (.611) in games under Donovan’s stewardship. The Wildcats are 7-2 against the Gators under Calipari (since 2009).
» UF is 8-47 (.145) all-time in Rupp Arena including just 3-13 (.188) under Donovan, not having pulled off a victory in Lexington since Feb. 10, 2007.
» Florida is coming off winning three of its last four games while Kentucky has dropped consecutive contests and fallen in four of its last seven games.
» The Wildcats have only held one opponent (7-20 Mississippi State) under 70 points since losing center Nerlens Noel to a knee injury. The Gators are 17-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points.
» Florida is 49-5 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (23-4 in 2012-13).
» Four starters from each team average double figures in scoring.
» 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.
» Florida is 0-4 this season in single-digit decisions.
» The Gators are first nationally in scoring margin (+19.6), third in scoring defense (53.0), fourth in field goal defense (.373), eighth in field goal percentage (.488), 14th in assist-turnover ratio (1.39), 15th in three-point defense (.293) and 21st in turnover margin (3.3). Florida is also sixth nationally in fouling, committing 14.0 per game.
» The Wildcats are second nationally in blocks (6.9), 14th in field goal percentage (.481) and 23rd in field goal defense (.388).

Read the rest of the Florida-Kentucky gameday preview…after the break!

WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH

FLORIDA
The Gators locked up their sixth SEC regular season title (fourth outright – second in the last three years) on Wednesday but now head into Rupp Arena looking to cap the regular season on a high note with their first victory in Lexington in six years. Florida can not only deal Kentucky a crushing blow on Saturday, it can stifle the Wildcats’ chances at earning an NCAA Tournament bid. The stakes do not get much higher for a team that is an underdog in the rivalry despite its dominance this season.

» Senior guard Kenny Boynton (#1) led the Gators on Senior Night and now looks to win just his third career game against the Wildcats. Five Florida players scored in double figures in the first meeting with Kentucky this season, but Boynton was not one of them. Like the Gators, he is looking to enter the postseason with some momentum after seeing all of his shooting numbers dip from his breakout junior season.

KENTUCKY
Calipari has dubbed Saturday’s contest a “one-game season” for UK considering the team has its back up against the wall as far as an the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky is looking to snap its two-game losing streak, earn the No. 2 overall seed in the SEC Tournament and ensure that UF does not sweep the regular season series for the first time since 2006-07. The Wildcats can also gain some much-needed momentum heading into the SEC Tournament if they can pull off the victory..

» Freshman G Archie Goodwin (#10) has led Kentucky in scoring all season but has been forced to take on an even greater role now that Noel is out for the season with a knee injury. He is averaging a team-high 14.0 points per game to go along with 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals. He is shooting a respectable 43.6 percent from the field but struggles from long range (28.3 percent) and the charity stripe (63.6 percent). Boynton and Florida junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin will share responsibility guarding Goodwin and look to shut him down over the course of the game.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Boynton continues to make waves in his fourth year as a starter for the Gators. He is quickly climbing his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists and is already first in school history in five categories: three-point field goals made (323) and attempted (941), field goal attempts (1,602), career starts (134) and minutes played (4,447). He currently leads the SEC in career points (1,955) and three-pointers among active players and is sixth all-time in SEC history in career three-pointers made.

Career scoring
1. Ronnie Williams – 2,090 points
2. Kenny Boynton – 1,955 points

Field goals made
1. Ronnie Williams – 772
4. Dwayne Schintzius – 695
5. Eugene McDowell – 642
6. Kenny Boynton – 639 (tied: Gene Shy)

Games played
1. Walter Hodge – 151
5. Dan Werner – 141 (tied: Chris Richard)
7. Kenny Boynton – 137

* Murphy (128) is two games away from entering the top-10.

Free throws made
1. Ronnie Williams – 546
8. Dan Cross – 411
9. Kenny Boynton – 354

Assists
1. Erving Walker – 547
9. Taurean Green – 397
10. Kenny Boynton – 378

One Comment

  1. Sroode21 says:

    Can’t win a big game on the road!!!! 0-11 to finish the game = soft

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