Florida Gators basketball begins its 2015-16 home campaign Monday night when it hosts the North Carolina A&T Aggies at Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
Here’s a look ahead at Monday’s game and the start of the team’s home season under new head coach Mike White: what to know and how to watch Florida-North Carolina A&T.
Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
Tale of the tape
|Florida Gators||North Carolina A&T Aggies|
|Head Coach: Mike White||Head Coach: Cy Alexander|
|Record: 1-0||Record: 0-1|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: MEAC|
Spread: OFF | O/U: OFF
ATS picks: 1-0 | O/U picks: 1-0
Redshirt handed out
Florida announced before the game that freshman forward Keith Stone will sit for the remainder of the 2015-16 season and take a redshirt. Stone decided to take the year to develop as a basketball player and improve his game rather than play a handful of minutes per night in a deep (numbers-wise) frontcourt.
“I understand I have a bunch of guys playing in front of me and I’ve got a lot to learn about playing at this level,” Stone said Monday, according to a story on the school’s website. “So I’m going to take a year to get better, work on my body and get my mind right.”
Injuries and absences
» Active (1): F Justin Leon (knee)
» Out (1): F Alex Murphy (foot)
With Murphy out of action for another month, Florida sorely needed junior transfer Justin Leon to get healthy and ready to play. And he did. The Gators announced Monday afternoon that Leon will play the first game of his career with the program against North Carolina A&T despite dealing with a hyperextended knee last week.
» Florida is 1-0 all-time against North Carolina A&T and has never lost to a team from the MEAC (25-0). The Gators beat the Aggies on Nov. 18, 2010, a game in which UF posted 105 points to NCAT’s 55.
» Florida has defeated MEAC teams by an average total of 36 points since 2010 (four games).
» White joined the Gators with a 101-40 career record as a head basketball coach on the collegiate level, earning that mark in four seasons at Louisiana Tech. He won three-straight league titles with the Bulldogs.
» Only eight of the 16 players on Florida’s roster have ever played a game in a Gators jersey; counting only scholarship players, those numbers drop to six of 12.
» Gators basketball has now won 25 consecutive season openers.
» Florida will play six games in 15 days over the remainder of November.