SEC Tournament: No. 12 Florida vs. Tennessee

By Adam Silverstein
March 11, 2011

Event: 2011 SEC Tournament – Quarterfinals
Location: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA [Capacity: 26,000]
Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: SEC Network (Local listings)
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 12 FLORIDA GATORS TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Bruce Pearl
Record: 24-6 (13-3 SEC) Record: 19-13 (8-8 SEC)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -4; O/U 130

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Tennessee leads the all-time series against Florida 69-51 and has won 10 out of the last 15 contests; however, the Gators have defeated the Volunteers in the teams’ last three meetings including twice in 2011. Florida is 2-4 all-time against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament; the teams have not faced-off in the event since 1989.
» Donovan is now 15-16 all-time against UT, while Pearl is 8-3 all-time against UF.
» Since 2004, Florida has won the most SEC Tournament titles (three – 2005-07) and SEC Tournament games (13) in the league. Among the six major conferences, UF ranks only behind Duke (4-15) and Kansas (4-14) since 2004 in conference tournament titles and league tournament wins.
» The Gators are 10-2 in their last five trips to the Georgia Dome (16-7 since 1992).
» Florida has won 16 of their last 19 games (and eight of their last nine) with 14 victories against RPI top 100 teams.
» UF enters the game having won the 2011 SEC regular season title and as a No. 1-seed in the tournament. UT is a No. 4-seed.
» The current Gators team is the fourth in school history to win 24+ regular season games. They also captured the third outright SEC title in school history (1989, 2007).
» Florida is 20-1 (9-0 SEC) when holding an opponent under 70 points this year.
» The Gators, struggling all season from the line, are hitting 72.6 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe over the last eight games.
» Florida is 10-2 when senior forward Chandler Parsons takes 10+ shots from the field. He has moved into the top 20 in school history in scoring (1,377 points) and is one of only two active players in Division I college basketball with over 1,300 points, 800 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 steals.
» Gators junior point guard Erving Walker, with 197 three-pointers, is sixth all-time at UF. He is one trey away from moving into the top five.
» UF has reached 20+ wins for the 13th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the SEC. The Gators have also reached 10 wins in league play for the ninth time in the last 13 years and first time since 2007 (13-3).
» Florida bests Tennessee in three of four major statistical categories nationally. The Gators hold advantages in points per game 71.5-70.5 (101st-128th), assists per game 13.9-13.2 (99th-154th) and field goal percentage .460-.433 (66nd-187th), while the Volunteers grab more rebounds 38.1-37.6 (30th-47th). Florida also holds opponents to 4.4 fewer points per game than Tennessee 62.3-66.7. The Gators rank 10th in RPI (.6368) and fifth in strength of schedule nationally compared to the Volunteers being 31st (.5918) and second, respectively.

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LAST TIME(S) OUT

Florida and Tennessee will square off for the third time this season; the Gators defeated the Volunteers in an 81-75 overtime thriller in Knoxville, TN on Jan. 12 and a 61-60 nailbiter in Gainesville one month later. In the first contest, Florida saw all five starters score in double figures and the team held off numerous rallies by Tennessee to eventually prevail. The latter game was won by Walker, who scored a team-high 16 points (mosty from the free throw line) and hit a go-ahead layup with 14 seconds remaining to propel his team to victory.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Parsons…the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and a unanimous All-SEC First Team selection…who is averaging double-digit points (11.4) while leading the Gators with 7.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Parsons ranks No. 1 among active SEC players in rebounds (805), No. 3 in points (1,377) and assists (307) and No. 4 steals (123). At one point he notched three-straight double-doubles and now has seven this year.
» Walker…who is marred in a shooting slump over the last few games but is still leading his team in scoring with 14.5 points per game while also leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (.410) and three-point percentage (.366). Walker also tops Florida’s turnover rankings (73) and became the 47th player in school history to score 1,000 points earlier this season.
» Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin…who is shooting a team-best 57.6 percent from the floor as a starter this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds a game while being a major presence for UF.
» Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton…who is arguably the Gators’ most talented player but is struggling with consistency shooting the ball. Boynton is only hitting 37.5 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second in scoring with 13.7 points per game and makes a team-high 81.0 percent of his free throws. He is also shooting 85.5 percent from the line (53-of-62) in SEC play. Boynton has been stellar from the floor over the last three games, hitting 48.5 percent of his field goals (16-of-33) and 50 percent of his threes (13-of-26).
» Senior F Alex Tyus…who is averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and field goal percentage as a starter. Tyus became just the fifth player under Donovan to reach 500 career field goals, accomplishing the feat two weeks ago against Vanderbilt. His last two games for the Gators have been efficient and productive as he has combined for 25 points and 19 boards while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor and 7-for-9 from the line.
» Freshmen PG Scottie Wilbekin and C Patric Young…who are Florida’s primary reserves each averaging over 17 minutes per game. Wilbekin, in relief of Walker, leads UF in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.32:1), while Young averages 3.3 points and 3.4 boards.
» Tennessee G Scotty Hopson…who leads his team in scoring with 17.3 points per game and shoots a team-best 38.1 percent from downtown. Hopson has had eight 20-point games this season with one coming in his first game of the year against Florida.
» Volunteers F Tobias Harris…who averages 14.9 points while grabbing 7.3 boards each game. Harris, along with Hopson, averages a team-high 29 minutes per contest.

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5 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEAT THE VOLUNQUEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Basshole says:

    Boy it is going to be tough to beat these guys three times, but hey, I like the resolve of our team. Go Gators!

  3. jay d says:

    I hate the volls…but if we beat them for a 3rd time this season….I will be amazed…tthis could potentially be a play in game 2 the ncaa for tenn….hopefully we are ready to go to war tonight after almost a week off…let’s go beat pearl into retirement!!

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    Gators end the half on the back side of an 18-2 run……..yea, we are pumped up for this game. The gators really put too many grey hairs on my head every year!

  5. Ken (CA) says:

    Great win Gators, 8 more games left in the season!

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