Event: SEC/BIG EAST Challenge
Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT
TV: ESPN2/ESPN2HD (Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla)
SiriusXM: 113/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app
|No. 7 FLORIDA GATORS||MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES|
|Head Coach: Billy Donovan||Head Coach: Buzz Williams|
|Record: 5-0||Record: 5-1|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Big East|
|Roster | Schedule||Roster | Schedule|
Odds: Florida -11 | O/U 137.5
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida is 1-2 all-time against Marquette, earning its first victory just last season in the Sweet 16 round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. UF is 16-10 all-time against the Big East under Donovan but 0-2 in scheduled non-conference regular season games against the league with a pair of losses to Syracuse (2009, 2011).
» Four Gators starters are averaging double figures.
» Florida has held three of its five opponents to 45 points or fewer. The Gators have only given up 26 points or more in a single half twice so far this campaign.
» UF dominated in its season opener, holding Alabama State to just nine first-half points and setting a school record in the shot clock era for fewest allowed in a half.
» Florida is 30-1 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game.
» The Gators were just 3-5 against top-25 opponents last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams. UF is currently scheduled to take on seven top-25 opponents as part of the 2012-13 campaign and is already 1-0 in such games.
» Florida is second nationally in scoring defense (48.4 points) and ninth in both scoring margin (+23.8 points per game) and field goal percentage defense (.337).
» The Gators are 174th nationally in assists, dishing just 13 per game.
» The Golden Eagles are ranked in the top-25 nationally in both assists (17.7) and overall field goal percentage (.491).
» Marquette has received huge contributions from its bench this season. Reserves are averaging 35 points and 22 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from downtown.
» The Golden Eagles have 10 players averaging double-digit minutes.
» Marquette is 75-7 since 2008-09 when out-shooting its opponent from the field.
Read the rest of the Florida-Marquette preview…more information after the break!
SEC/BIG EAST CHALLENGE
The second-annual SEC/BIG EAST Challenge is a three-day event that pits 12 teams from each conference against one another. Aside from Florida’s showdown with Marquette, the rest of the games are scheduled as follows:
Thursday: Kentucky at Notre Dame (7 p.m.), South Carolina at St. John’s (7:30 p.m.), Seton Hall at LSU (9:30 p.m.)
Friday: Tennessee at Georgetown (6:30 p.m.), Georgia at South Florida (7 p.m.), Syracuse at Arkansas (8:30 p.m.), DePaul at Auburn (9 p.m.)
Saturday: Mississippi State at Providence (12 p.m.), Rutgers at Ole Miss (2 p.m.), Alabama at Cincinnati (3 p.m.), Villanova at Vanderbilt (5 p.m.)
LAST TIME OUT
Florida advanced to its second-straight Elite Eight by defeating Marquette 68-56 in the Sweet 16 round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Gators, a seven seed to the Golden Eagles’ three seed, were led by Bradley Beal, who scored a game-high 21 points while going 8-of-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from downtown. He also registered six boards, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Florida trailed late in the first half but ended it on a 9-0 run to take a six-point lead into the break. The Gators jumped ahead a game-high 14 points early in the second half and held on to a somewhat comfortable advantage for the duration of the contest.
WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH
Beginning a tough three-game non-conference stretch that also includes away contests against Florida State and No. 9 Arizona, Florida has an opportunity to get off to a hot start and begin a season 6-0 for just the second time since 2006-07. The Gators can also register their second big victory of the season; the Golden Eagles are not currently ranked but definitely could be later in the season.
» Junior Forward Will Yeguete (#15) has been a big-time spark plug for Florida and looks to have made improvements to his offensive game to go along with his prowess on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor. Yeguete, who broke his foot midway through the season, was unable to play in the second half of UF’s 2011-12 campaign. His penchant for playing aggressive defense, forcing turnovers and grabbing rebounds makes him an irreplaceable member of the Gators.
Though the team hit a rough spot early in the season when it fell to Butler on the opening day of the Maui Invitational, Marquette has an opportunity to register a big victory over a ranked opponent while simultaneously avenging its loss to UF in the 2012 NCAA Tournament last season. The Gators have yet to be truly tested this season; early pressure from the Golden Eagles could get the home team off its game.
» Junior F Davante Gardner (#54) is playing the best basketball of his young career, posting team-highs of 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in just 20.2 minutes off the bench. Gardner is shooting 55.0 percent from the floor for Marquette and already has one double-double on the season. He is among the Big East’s leaders in points, rebounds, offensive boards and field goal percentage.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Senior guard Kenny Boynton is in his fourth year as a starter for the Gators. He is quickly making his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists and is already first in school history in three-point field goal attempts (786). He currently leads the SEC in career points (1,670) and three-pointers (275) among active players.
1. Ronnie Williams – 2,090 points
5. Stacey Poole – 1,678 points
6. Kenny Boynton – 1,670 points
1. Erving Walker – 4,358
6. Eddie Shannon – 3,676
7. Kenny Boynton – 3,653
1. Andrew DeClerq – 128
5. Erving Walker – 113
6. Kenny Boynton – 110
1. Lee Humphrey – 288
2. Erving Walker – 285
3. Kenny Boynton – 275
Field goal attempts
1. Stacey Poole – 1,578
4. Dwayne Schintzius – 1,407
5. Kenny Boynton – 1,355
Boynton is also approaching the top 10 in games played (17 away), free throws made (45 away) and assists (65 away).