SEC Tournament: (12) Florida vs. (24) Vanderbilt

By Adam Silverstein
March 12, 2011

Event: 2011 SEC Tournament – Semifinals
Location: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA [Capacity: 26,000]
Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: ABC/ABCHD
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 12 FLORIDA GATORS No. 24 VANDERBILT COMMODORES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Levin Stallings
Record: 25-6 Record: 23-9
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -3; O/U 139.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Vanderbilt leads the all-time series against Florida 63-58 and won both meetings last season. However, the Gators are 17-5 in their last 22 games against the Commodores including two victories earlier this year.
» Florida is looking to defeat Vanderbilt three times in a single season for the first time in school history. The Gators accomplished that exact feat Friday night against Tennessee.
» UF is 6-7 in their previous 13 SEC Tournament semifinals appearances. However, Florida has won its last four semifinals (2004-07) by an average margin of 16 points; the Gators are 4-1 in SEC semifinals under Donovan.
» Since 2004, Florida has won the most SEC Tournament titles (three – 2005-07) and SEC Tournament games (14) 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 11-2 in their last six trips to the Georgia Dome (17-7 since 1992).
» Florida has won 17 of their last 20 games (and nine of their last 10) with 15 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. VU is a No. 3-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 72.4 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe over the last 10 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. He also became the sixth player in school history with 500+ career field goals after hitting four on Friday.
» Gators junior point guard Erving Walker, hitting a trio of three-pointers on Friday, moved into the top five all time in school history.
» 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).
» Vanderbilt leads Florida in points per game 76.5-71.9 (27th-87th) nationally, while the Gators hold advantages over the Commodores in assists 13.8-13.4 (102nd-135th), rebounding 37.4-37.1 (58th-68th) and field goal percentage .463-.460 (47th-63rd). Florida holds opponents to five fewer points per game than Vanderbilt 62.7-67.3, grabs more turnovers 13.0-12.2 and coughs up fewer 12.4-13.4. The Gators rank 8th in RPI (.6366) and seventh in strength of schedule nationally compared to the Commodores being 25th (.6083) and 19th, respectively.

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LAST TIME(S) OUT

Florida and Vanderbilt will square off for the third time this season; the Gators defeated the Commodores in a 65-61 overtime thriller in Gainesville, FL on Feb. 1 and a hard-fought 86-76 contest in Nashville, TN just one week ago. In the first game, Parsons led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds as Florida clawed their way to a victory. The latter game was won a team effort that saw all five starters score in double figures to help propel the team to the outright SEC regular season title.

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 (11.5) while leading the Gators with 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Parsons ranks No. 1 among active SEC players in rebounds (812), No. 3 in points (1,389) and assists (311) and No. 4 steals (125). 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 (.414) and three-point percentage (.375). Walker also tops Florida’s turnover rankings (76) 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 57.7 percent from the floor as a starter this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.6 points and 5.7 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 37.7 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second in scoring with 13.9 points per game and makes a team-high 82.7 percent of his free throws. He is also shooting 87.5 percent from the line (63-of-72) in SEC play. Boynton has been stellar from the floor over the last three games, hitting 47.7 percent of his field goals (21-of-44).
» 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 five games for the Gators have been efficient and productive as he has combined for 56 points and 32 boards while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor.
» 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 3.4 points and 3.5 boards.
» Vanderbilt G John Jenkins…who plays a team-high 34.6 minutes and is his team’s leading scorer (19.8 points per game). Jenkins also shoots 89.0 percent from the charity stripe, hits 41.4 percent of his three-pointers and leads the SEC in scoring average.
» Commodores F Jeffrey Taylor…who is his team’s second-leading scorer (14.9) and third-leading rebounder (5.4) while playing the second-most minutes (31.5).
» Vanderbilt G Brad Tinsley…who leads the SEC in assists with 4.5 per game. He also contributes 10.6 points and 3.8 rebounds for the Commodores.

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