Gameday: Florida Gators vs. N.C. State Wolfpack

By Adam Silverstein
January 3, 2010

Location: RBC Center – Raleigh, NC [Capacity: 19,722]
Time: 3:00 p.m. (EST)

Online: GatorVision
XM: 199

Florida Gators N.C. State Wolfpack
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Sidney Lowe
Record: 10-3 Record: 10-3
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: EVEN, O/U “OFF”

– Players scoring in double-figures…four Gators starters and one bench player are all averaging double-digit points. Freshman guard Kenny Boynton averages 14.2 ppg while junior forwards Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons, redshrit junior center Vernon Macklin and sophomore point guard Erving Walker all average 11.9-10.3 ppg.
– Tyus…who is averaging 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds over the last four games.
– Assists…Boynton and Walker have 109 assists to just 49 turnovers this season.
– N.C. State forward Tracy Smith…who leads his team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
– Three-point line…in Florida’s 10 wins, the Gators are holding teams to 24.5 percent shooting and 4.2 makes from behind the arc; in their three losses, the opposition is shooting 39.5 percent from three (5.7 makes per game).

– Florida trails the all-time series against N.C. State 6-3; however, the Gators have won the last two meetings including a 68-66 victory last year in Gainesville, FL.
– Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 16-9 against the ACC, 3-0 in last three.
– The Gators are 5-0 this season when nabbing double-digit steals.
– Florida is 29-5 in the month of January since 2005 and has not dropped its first game of the New Year since 2005. The Gators went 7-2 in January 2009.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. N.C. State Wolfpack preview after the jump!

Though the Florida Gators (10-3) have dropped out of all Top 25 polls and are reeling, the team has won its last two games against cupcake opponents in American and Presbyterian. To start the decade, the Gators will face a tough N.C. State Wolfpack team (10-3) that has wins over Marquette and Auburn already this season. The game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in Raleigh, NC, at the RBC Center.

Freshman guard Kenny Boynton seems to have found his stroke while junior forward Alex Tyus and redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin have been hitting the boards hard on defense. Though the Gators are seeming to gel more as the season goes on, one thing they still lack is consistency. From game-to-game Florida will either be stout defending the three-point line or quite porous. The guards and shooting forwards will drain treys or go completely cold. In order to take care of N.C. State, the team will need to put it all together for an entire game.

Defensively, the Gators must worry about Wolfpack forward Tracy Smith. Smith, who leads N.C. State in scoring (17.2) and rebounding (9.1), is a physical and bruising player in the paint who can also shoot pull-up jumpers.

Sophomore guard Ray Shipman (knee), who has missed practice and game time recently, is questionable to return to action Sunday. His kneecap has been causing him immense pain over the past few weeks, but he has recently begun to walk and jog without any issues. The same cannot be said for sophomore center Kenny Kadji (back). Kadji has a herniated disc in his lower back, has already received two anti-inflammatory injections to calm it and is scheduled to be administered a third before trying to return to the court. Surgery is an option should there continue to be pain, something that would likely sideline him for the season.

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