Location: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 18,160]
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
TV: ESPNU/ESPNUHD (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 126/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: ESPN3 / WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app
|(1) FLORIDA GATORS||(9) LSU TIGERS|
|Head Coach: Billy Donovan||Head Coach: Johnny Jones|
|Record: 24-6 (14-4 SEC)||Record: 19-11 (9-9 SEC)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
|Roster | Schedule||Roster | Schedule|
Odds: Florida -16 | O/U 128.5
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida is looking to win its fourth SEC Tournament, first since completing a three-peat in the event from 2005-07. The Gators are 36-44 all-time in the SEC Tournament (21-13 under Donovan) in 47 total appearances.
» UF enters the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for the fourth time in school history. The team has never failed to reach the finals when listed as the top seed.
» The Gators are 5-4 all-time in SEC Tournament games held played in Nashville, TN.
» LSU holds a 60-41 advantage over Florida in the all-time series, but the Gators have won four consecutive games over the Tigers and hold a 12-8 record under Donovan.
» Florida is 49-6 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (23-5 in 2012-13).
» Four Gators starters average in double figures while the Tigers boast five players that score in double digits on average.
» UF is 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 0-5 this season in single-digit decisions.
» The Gators are first nationally in scoring margin (+18.8), third in scoring defense (53.2), fourth in field goal defense (.373), ninth in field goal percentage (.485), 12th in three-point defense (.291), 18th in assist-turnover ratio (1.36) and 24th in turnover margin (3.1). Florida is also seventh nationally in fouling, committing 14.2 per game.
» The Tigers are 14th nationally in steals per game (9.2). Anthony Hickey is first nationally in steals per game (3.07).
Read the rest of the Florida-LSU gameday preview…after the break!
WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH
The Gators locked up their sixth SEC regular season title (fourth outright – second in the last three years) a week ago and head into Friday’s quarterfinal showdown with a bad taste in their mouths coming off of a tough loss to Kentucky at Rupp Arena last Saturday. Suddenly Florida, which appeared headed for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament a few weeks ago, is in position where it has to fight for a No. 2 seed. The Gators will likely need to win the SEC Tournament (or come extremely close) in order to earn that designation and their efforts start against the Tigers on Friday.
» Junior center Patric Young (#4) has flashed dominance at times but continues to be incredibly inconsistent for Florida. On the season, Young has grabbed seven or more rebounds in 14 games but four or fewer boards in 11 contests (including five of the last seven). He is averaging 10.5 points per game while averaging team-highs in field goal percentage (.606), rebounding (6.2) and blocks (1.7).
The Tigers got off to a rough start in league play, dropping four-straight games, but have won six of their last nine league contests including an opening-round matchup against Georgia on Thursday. LSU is one of many teams that has an NCAA Tournament berth on the line this weekend – win the SEC Tournament and the Tigers get a berth, otherwise the NIT is ahead for the Bayou Bengals. There is no greater motivation to overcome a huge obstacle like Florida.
» Sophomore forward Johnny O’Bryant (#2) is LSU’s beast in the middle, averaging team-highs of 13.8 points and 8.4 boards while shooting .493 from the field, second-best on the team. At 6’9” and 262 lbs., O’Bryant matches up with (and outweighs) Young, a player seen as one of the most physically gifted big men in the country. Luckily for the Gators, the Tigers do not have much in the way of scoring, but O’Bryant could certainly go off in the post and make Friday a very difficult day for Young.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Senior guard Kenny 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 (324) and attempted (944), field goal attempts (1,612), career starts (135) and minutes played (4,482). He currently leads the SEC in career points (1,964) and three-pointers among active players and is sixth all-time in SEC history in career three-pointers made.
1. Ronnie Williams – 2,090 points
2. Kenny Boynton – 1,964 points
Field goals made
1. Ronnie Williams – 772
4. Dwayne Schintzius – 695
5. Kenny Boynton – 643
1. Walter Hodge – 151
5. Chris Richard / Dan Werner – 141
7. Kenny Boynton – 138
* Murphy (129) is one game away from entering the top-10.
Free throws made
1. Ronnie Williams – 546
8. Dan Cross – 411
9. Kenny Boynton – 354
1. Erving Walker – 547
9. Taurean Green – 397
10. Kenny Boynton – 378
2013 SEC TOURNAMENT BRACKET