Event: Big East·SEC Challenge
Location: Carrier Dome – Syracuse, NY [Capacity: 34,616]
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET)
|(9) FLORIDA GATORS||(3) SYRACUSE ORANGE|
|Head Coach: Billy Donovan||Head Coach: Jim Boeheim|
|Record: 5-1||Record: 7-0|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Big East|
|Roster | Schedule||Roster | Schedule|
Odds: Florida +6.5; O/U 148.5
Need to catch up on the Gators before the big game? No problem. OGGOA has been here all season long compiling a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam Friday night at 7 p.m.
HISTORY and STREAKS
» Syracuse leads the all-time series against Florida 2-1. All three games have taken place at neutral sites while Donovan has been UF’s head coach. The Gators are 16-8 (7-2 since 2005-06) against current teams in the Big East under Donovan.
» Donovan is a former Big East player having spent his collegiate career at Providence.
» Boeheim is 13 victories shy of passing Adolph Rupp for fourth on the Division I career wins list. He is No. 2 on the active list, just 44 wins behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Boeheim has the most 20-win seasons among active Division I coaches (33).
» Florida has never defeated an opponent ranked in the top three in a true road game and has not taken down one ranked No. 4 or better in such a contest since 1988.
» The Gators won three out of every four road games they played in 2010-11 and captured eight true road victories for the first time since 1993-94.
» Florida has made a three-pointer in 652 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 1992.
» UF has connected on 10 or more treys in all six games this season, the team’s longest streak under Donovan.
» The Gators have outrebounded every opponent this season.
» Florida is No. 3 in scoring offense (89.8 points), No. 6 in scoring margin (25.4 points), No. 6 in rebounding margin (11.4 boards) and T-No. 1 in three-pointers (11.6 per game) nationally as of Nov. 27.
» UF has the best winning percentage against ranked opponents (.552) among SEC teams dating back to 1999-2000.
» The Gators lead the nation with 72 triples made through six games.
» The Orange have begun the season 7-0 for the fourth consecutive year.
» Syracuse is winning their games by an average of 26.1 points and is holding opponents to just 57 points per game.
» Three of the Orange’s subs are among the team’s top five scorers.
» Syracuse has outrebounded all but one opponent this season.
» Friday’s game is part of the recently expanded Big East/SEC Challenge, which features 12 teams from both conferences playing each other with all games taking place over three days and broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
LAST TIME OUT
» Active: Sophomore guard/forward Casey Prather (groin)
» Questionable: Junior forward Erik Murphy (knee)
PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
» Senior point guard Erving Walker (#11)…who is the longest tenured player on the team having appeared in 113 consecutive games with 52-straight starts. A shoot-first player much of his career, Walker has been tasked with distributing the ball and managing the game this year. He is the SEC’s active leader in minutes (3,361) and treys (226) but also ranks second in points (1,412), assists (409) and steals (130) as well as seventh in assists (409). Walker is No. 19 on the school’s all-time scoring list, No. 8 in free throws made (350), No. 5 in threes made (226) and No. 4 in treys attempted (595).
» Junior guard Kenny Boynton (#1)…who is a dynamic scorer and just the second starter returning from a year ago. Boynton is working on his consistency this season and is already shoot better than he has throughout his career (50.0 percent from the field and 48.9 percent from downtown). He is the best defender on the Gators and is often put on the opponent’s best backcourt playmaker. Boynton currently ranks fifth in the SEC among active players in points (1,112) and fourth in three-pointers (174).
» Freshman G Bradley Beal (#23)…who is starting at the three for Florida fresh out of high school. Beal was the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year, one of the top five players in the country, and is arguably the most talented player to sign with the Gators since Donovan took over. He is averaging 17 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line (second best on the team).
» Sophomore center Patric Young (#4)…who joins the starting lineup this year after being the primary frontcourt reserve as a freshman. Young saw action in all 37 games as a freshman, averaging 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in limited action. He opened the season with consecutive double-doubles and is posting averages of 10.2 points, 7.7 boards and 1.7 blocks per game.
» Redshirt junior G Mike Rosario (#3)…who is finally playing for Florida after transferring out of Rutgers and sitting out the 2010-11 season. Rosario scored more than 1,000 points in two seasons with his former team and averaged 16.7 points per game during his sophomore year. He is the Gators’ de facto sixth man and is seeing 20.2 minutes of court time each game, averaging 12 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 48.6 percent from beyond the arc.
» F Kris Joseph (#32)…who is the reigning Big East Player of the Week due to averaging a team-high 14.7 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 41 percent from downtown. Joseph has posted double-digit points in all but one game this season and is averaging the second-most rebounds with 5.7 per game.
» C Fab Melo (#51)…who is averaging 21.4 minutes per game and has grabbed 36 rebounds on the season with 22 coming on the offensive glass. He’s blocked at least three shots in four games this year including a season-high five against Virginia Tech.
» PG Scoop Jardine (#11)…who has been named one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award (top point guard) and leads Syracuse with 29 assists. Jardine needs just 15 points to become the 56th player in school history with 1,000 career points.