No. 17 Florida at South Carolina Gameday Preview

Location: Colonial Life Arena – Columbia, SC [Capacity: 18,000]
Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: SEC Network
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 17 FLORIDA GATORS USC GAMECOCKS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Darrin Horn
Record: 18-5 (7-2) Record: 13-8 (4-4)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -4.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series against South Carolina 36-22 and has won 20 of the last 26 meetings in the series. However, the Gators have lost back-to-back contests against the Gamecocks including a 72-69 defeat in January. UF is also 20-11 against USC under Donovan, which includes a 5-3 record in Columbia.
» Eleven of the last 13 games (including January’s contest) between Florida and South Carolina have been decided by six points or less.
» The Gators have won 13 of their last 16 games with 10 victories against RPI top 100 teams. Florida is 5-1 in true road games this season and can reach six victories on the road for the first time since 2005-06.
» UF is 4-1 against the SEC East this season after finishing 3-7 in the division last year.
» The Gators earned back-to-back victories against ranked opponents for the first time since 2007 after defeating then-No. 24 Vanderbilt and then-No. 11 Kentucky last week.
» Florida improved to 15-1 when holding opponents under 70 points this season after limiting Kentucky to 68 points on Saturday.
» Donovan is one victory shy of notching 350 wins with the Gators.
» Florida bests South Carolina in three of four major statistical categories including points per game 71-70.3 (117th-152nd), assists per game 14-11.6 (100th-278th) and field goal percentage .453-.415 (102nd-278th). However, the Gamecocks and Gators are relatively even in rebounding with USC holding a slight advantage 39.0-38.9 (27th-29th). UF ranks 14th in RPI (.6352) and sixth in strength of schedule nationally compared to their opponent being 95th (.5444) and 117th, respectively.

LAST TIME OUT…

Florida and South Carolina will square off for the second time this season; the Gamecocks defeated the Gators 72-69 in Gainesville, FL on Jan. 15. In the contest, Florida rallied back from a double-digit deficit but finished 12-for-22 from the charity stripe and missed their final five throw attempts, points which could have won the game.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Senior forward Chandler Parsons…who is back to averaging double-digit points (11.0) while leading the Gators with 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Parsons ranks No. 1 among active SEC players in rebounds (753), No. 3 in points (1,297) and No. 4 in assists (284) and steals (117). He has notched consecutive double-doubles and now has five this season alone.
» Junior point guard Erving Walker…who is leading his team in scoring with 14.2 points per game and leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (.413) and three-point percentage (.373). Walker also leads Florida in turnovers (59) 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 57.5 percent as a starter this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.1 points and 6.1 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 in his field goal percentage. Boynton is only shooting 35.6 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second on the team in scoring with 13.0 points per game and hits 83.3 percent of his free throws.
» 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 last Tuesday against Vanderbilt.
» Freshmen PG Scottie Wilbekin and C Patric Young…who are Florida’s primary reserves each averaging just over 17 minutes per game. Wilbekin, in relief of Walker, leads UF in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5:1), while Young averages 3.3 points and 3.4 boards off the bench.
» South Carolina G Bruce Ellington…who leads his team in scoring with 14.4 points per game and dishes out 3.4 dimes per contest. Ellington posted 23 points against Florida on Jan. 15, his second-highest total of the season.
» Gamecocks F Sam Muldrow and G Ramon Galloway…who each average 10.8 points per game as the team’s other two scoring threats. Muldrow adds 7.2 boards and 3.5 blocks in 28.6 minutes per contest.

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Gameday: Florida Gators at S. Carolina Gamecocks

Location: Colonial Life Arena – Columbia, SC [Capacity: 18,000]
Time: 8:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network
Online Video: ESPN360
Live Updates: OGGOA on Twitter

Florida Gators South Carolina Gamecocks
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Darrin Horn
Record: 17-6, 5-3 SEC Record: 13-9, 4-4 SEC
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: South Carolina -1.5, O/U 138.5

KEEP AN EYE ON…
» The dynamic backcourt of…sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton who are averaging and controlling the backcourt 31.0 points and 7.9 assists per game in conference play this season.
» Speaking of Walker and Boynton…they have hit 46 of the Gators’ 59 treys in SEC play.
» Junior forward Alex Tyus…who is dominating the front court, averaging 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds over the last 14 contests. He has hit double figures in 13 of 14 games and scored 15+ in eight of those.
» The triumvirate of Walker, Boynton and Tyus…is combining for 45.7 of Florida’s 71.9 points per game in SEC play (63.6 percent).
» Double-digit scoring by Vernon Macklin…the Gators are 11-1 when the redshirt junior transfer center does so. He scored a career-high 20 points in Florida’s last game.
» Gamecocks senior guard Devan Downey leads his team in points (23.0) and assists (3.5) while averaging an amazing 30.9 points per game in conference play. He currently ranks first in the SEC in points, steals and free throws. Downey dominated the Gators with 36 points just a month ago.

STREAKS:
» Florida leads the all-time series against South Carolina 36-20. The Gators have won the last two meetings and 20 of the last 24 in the series.
» Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 20-9 against the Gamecocks; however, they lost 70-69 when they visited Colonial Life Arena in 2009.
» Over the last three seasons, no UF/USC game has been decided by more than four points, and nine of the last 11 meetings have been decided by six points or less.
» The Gators are 5-3 in games decided by five points or less compared to 4-6 in such games last season. Florida is 4-1 in the last five contests that were that close.
» UF is 6-0 in conference play when out-rebounding an opponent. The Gators have a +7.2 rebounding margin in their SEC wins and a -5.3 margin in all three losses.
» All five of Florida’s starters are averaging double-digits in points and are within 4.0 points of each other.
» South Carolina has a win over then-No. 1 Kentucky on its resume and is averaging 73.7 points per game on the season.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators at S. Carolina Gamecocks preview after the jump!
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