Fastbreak: Florida inches past Memphis 77-75

The No. 16 Florida Gators (8-2) picked up another huge victory on Tuesday night in the 2013 Jimmy V. Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, holding on for a hard-fought 77-75 victory over the No. 15 Memphis Tigers (7-2).

OnlyGators.com breaks down the Gators’ eighth win with The Fastbreak.

It was over when: Memphis guard Joe Jackson, the team’s leading scorer with 17 points, drove the lane with six seconds remaining and his team down two only to be stifled by tight defense from Florida forwards senior Will Yeguete and redshirt sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith. Yeguete cleaned up with four points and four rebounds, while Finney-Smith finished with 14 points and a team-high eight boards.

Prominent player: Gators senior F Casey Prather once again proved to be his team’s most valuable asset on the court, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting while hitting all six of his free throws including four with less than 1:20 to play. Prather scored Florida’s last eight points and also finished with five rebounds and a block.

Standout stats: UF dominated the boards, earning a 36-25 advantage overall while doubling up its opponent on the offensive glass (14-7). On the other hand, Memphis bothered Florida into commit 18 turnovers while only coughing up 11 of its own. The forced changes in possession negated the Gators’ rebounding advantage and kept the game closer than it perhaps should have been.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Florida inches past Memphis 77-75

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2013 Jimmy V. Classic – Gameday: No. 16 Florida Gators vs. No. 15 Memphis Tigers

Event: 2013 Jimmy V. Classic
Location: Madison Square Garden – New York, NY [Capacity: 19,812]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Andy Katz)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(16) FLORIDA GATORS (15) MEMPHIS TIGERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Josh Pastner
Record: 7-2 Record: 7-1
Conference: Southeastern Conference: American
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -3 | O/U 137

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida and Memphis have not squared off since 1976 when the Gators beat the Tigers in an 84-83 nail-biter played in St. Petersburg, FL.
» UF is 4-3 at Madison Square Garden under Donovan but are playing in the Jimmy V. Classic for the first time.
» Donovan, a native of Rockville Center in Long Island, NY, has a place in his heart for MSG. Not only did he attend games as a child and teenager, Donovan played at MSG in college while with Providence and as a professional with the New York Knicks.
» Memphis is the fourth and final ranked opponent Florida will face in non-conference action this season. The Gators are 1-2 in the prior three games with both losses coming in true road games against teams currently ranked in the top 10 nationally.
» The Tigers are 3-0 in neutral-site games this season.
» UF is 5-4 against top-25 ranked opponents dating back to last season with all four losses coming away from its home court.
» Florida is 61-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF’s defense has started off allowing just 60.9 points per game through nine contests, making it the stingiest in the SEC; no opponent has scored more than 69.
» The Gators have already used five different starting lineups through eight games. Only two players – seniors forward Casey Prather and center Patric Young – have started every contest thus far.

Read the rest of the Florida-Memphis gameday preview…after the break!
Continue Reading » 2013 Jimmy V. Classic – Gameday: No. 16 Florida Gators vs. No. 15 Memphis Tigers

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Donovan talks point guards, close games, Walker

No. 16 Florida Gators (7-2) head basketball coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Monday, one day before his team takes on the No. 15 Memphis Tigers (7-1) at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY as part of the 2013 Jimmy V. Classic.

TWO POINT GUARDS, ONE BALL

Donovan did not go so far as to say whether his two point guards – senior Scottie Wilbekin and freshman Kasey Hill – would start on Tuesday, but he definitely intimated that he has plans to have them on the court together for a good portion of the game.

Hill, coming back from a high-ankle sprain, actually “tweaked” his other ankle and missed a day of practice during the week but will be fine to play. When on the court with Wilbekin, the freshman will be the primary ball-handler on offense, a role Donovan said was easy to work out with his senior counterpart.

“Scottie is one of those guys you can just put out there on the floor. He can play any position, doesn’t care about it. I think that part of it, chemistry-wise, is really, really good – moving Scottie off the ball some and Kasey’s got the ball in his hands,” he explained.

“Those guys have played some together they’re getting more comfortable playing together some. Besides those two guys being comfortable with each other, the bigger issue is taking a guy like Scottie and moving him to the two where he’s really, over the last year or so, never played there. Now he knows what’s going on, he’s very cerebral and very smart it’s not like he doesn’t understand. The ball is not in his hands as much.

“So I’ve got to do things, in terms of running plays, to get the ball in his hands to playing pick and roll to come off screens and do some of those things. As far as their chemistry together, it’s been fine. And I think what it does do, when we move Scottie to the two … it gives us some more shooting than maybe in some lineups we’ve had in the past.”

Continue Reading » Donovan talks point guards, close games, Walker

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Florida Gators basketball’s 2013-14 schedule

Florida Gators basketball’s 2013-14 schedule was officially announced on Tuesday.

The Gators are set to face seven opponents who took part in the 2013 NCAA Tournament while also participating in three events – the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Jimmy V. Classic and Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

Florida will take on their permanent rival of Kentucky twice during the Southeastern Conference‘s 18-game schedule while also facing Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee twice each as part of the four-team annual rotation.

After opening the SEC slate at home, the Gators will play four of their next six games on the road before returning to Gainesville, FL, for a three-game homestand from Feb. 1-8. Florida then plays five of its next seven league games out of town before concluding the season with Senior Day against Kentucky on March 8.

UF will play three Super Tuesday games on ESPN and also be the visiting team when ESPN’s College GameDay rolls into Lexington, KY, on Feb. 15.

Florida will play three SEC contests on CBS, 16 total games on ESPN networks, two games on the syndicated SEC Network, two on FSN and one on CSS. Most of the non-conference game times and network affiliations have not yet been released.

Below is the official 2013-14 schedule with SEC games added:

Date/TimeGator BaitResult
11/8 at 3:00 pm (SUN)vs. North FloridaW 77-69
11/12 at 9:00pm (ESPN2)at WisconsinL 53-59
11/16 at 4:30 pm (SUN)vs. Ark-Little RockW 86-56
11/18 at 7:00 pm (SUN)vs. SouthernW 67-53
11/21 at 7:30 pm (SUN)vs. MTSUW 79-59
11/25 at 7:00 pm (FSF)at JacksonvilleW 86-60
11/29 at 7:30pm (ESPN2)vs. Florida StateW 67-66
12/2 at 7:00 pm (ESPN2)at UConnL 64-65
12/10 at 7:00 pm (ESPN)vs. KansasW 67-61
12/17 at 9:00 pm (ESPN)vs. Memphis (NY)W 77-75
12/21 at 4:30 pm (FSN)vs. Fresno St.W 66-49
12/29 at 3:00 pm (FSF)vs. Savannah St.W 76-34
1/4 at 3:00 pm (CSS)vs. RichmondW 67-58
1/8 at 7:00 pm (CSS)vs. South CarolinaW 74-58
1/11 at 1:00 pm (ESPN2)at ArkansasW(OT) 84-82
1/14 at 7:00 pm (ESPNU)vs. GeorgiaW 72-50
1/18 at 4:00 pm (SECN)at AuburnW 68-61
1/23 at 7:00 pm (ESPN2)at AlabamaW 68-62
1/25 at 4:00 pm (ESPN)vs. TennesseeW 67-41
1/30 at 7:00 pm (ESPN2)at Miss. StateW 62-51
2/1 at 4:00 pm (SECN)vs. Texas A&MW 69-36
2/4 at 9:00 pm (ESPN)vs. MissouriW 68-58
2/8 at 12:00 pm (ESPN)vs. AlabamaW 78-69
2/11 at 7:00 pm (ESPN)at TennesseeW 67-58
2/15 at 9:00 pm (ESPN)at KentuckyW 69-59
2/19 at 7:00 pm (FSN)vs. AuburnW 71-66
2/22 at 12:00 pm (CBS)at Ole MissW 75-71
2/25 at 7:00 pm (ESPN)at VanderbiltW 57-54
3/1 at 4:00 pm (CBS)vs. LSUW 79-61
3/4 at 7:00 pm (ESPNU)at South CarolinaW 72-46
3/8 at 12:00 pm (CBS)vs. KentuckyW 84-65
3/14 at 1:00 pm (ESPNU)vs. Missouri
SEC Tournament
W 72-49
3/15 at 1:00 pm (ABC)vs. Tennessee
SEC Tournament
W 56-49
3/16 at 3:15 pm (ESPN)vs. Kentucky
SEC Tournament
W 61-60
3/20 at 4:10 pm (TBS)vs. Albany
NCAA Tournament
W 67-55
3/21 at 12:15 pm (CBS)vs. Pittsburgh
NCAA Tournament
W 61-45
3/27 at 10:15 pm (CBS)vs. UCLA
NCAA Tournament
W 79-68
3/29 at 6:09 pm (TBS)vs. Dayton
NCAA Tournament
W 62-52
4/5 at 6:09 pm (TBS)vs. UConn
NCAA Tournament
L 53-63

SCHEDULE NOTES

» Ten teams each from the SEC and Big 12 will each compete in the Big 12/SEC Challenge from Nov. 14-Dec. 21. It is the first year of the event’s existence following the cancellation of the SEC/Big East Challenge (2007-12).
» The Gators are competing in the OBBC for the 13th time in the last 14 years.
» UF has Thursday-Saturday back-to-backs in consecutive weeks on Jan. 23-25 and Jan. 30-Feb. 1. Head coach Billy Donovan will not be pleased with that.
» Florida will play three games on CBS for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

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Florida basketball set to face Kansas, Memphis

Updated on May 3 at 10:30 a.m.

Florida Gators basketball’s 2013-14 non-conference schedule is taking shape after information was released this week about opponents for the upcoming season.

It has been confirmed that Florida will take on Kansas for the first time since 2006 as part of the inaugural SEC-Big 12 Challenge. KU will travel to Gainesville, FL on Dec. 10, 2013 for what is sure to be a fantastic showdown.

According to CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman, UF will also face Memphis at the 2013 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on Dec. 17.

The UF website announced on Friday that the Gators will play a road game at Connecticut on Dec. 2. It is the first time the teams have squared off since 1994.

It has long been known that Florida will finish off a home-and-home series with a road game at Wisconsin, host Florida State and Richmond, participate in the 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic (Sunrise, FL) against an unsigned opponent, and take part in a five-team round robin called the Global Sports Challenge that includes Arkansas Little-Rock, Middle Tennessee State, North Florida and Southern.

Below is the non-conference schedule as of press time:

Nov. 8 vs. North Florida
TBA at Wisconsin
Nov. 16 vs. Arkansas Little-Rock
Nov. 18 vs. Southern
Nov. 21 vs. Middle Tennessee State
Nov 25 at Jacksonville
Nov. 29 vs. Florida State
Dec. 2 at UConn
Dec. 10 vs. Kansas
Dec. 17 vs. Memphis (New York, NY)
Dec. 21 vs. TBA (Sunrise, FL)
Dec. 29 vs. Savannah State
Jan. 4 vs. Richmond

Florida will be adding additional games to its non-conference schedule in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.

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