Gameday: No. 15 Florida Gators at No. 12 UConn

By Adam Silverstein
December 2, 2013

Location: Harry A. Gampel Pavilion – Storrs, CT [Capacity: 10,167]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen, Seth Greenberg, Andy Katz)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Kevin Ollie
Record: 6-1 Record: 7-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: American
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +4 | O/U 130.5


» Notebook: Donovan prepares Florida for showdown with UConn
» Story: Gators up to No. 12/15 in new top 25 polls


» Florida is 1-0 all-time against UConn as the Gators defeated the Huskies 69-60 in overtime during the Sweet 16 round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament. UF would advance to its first-ever Final Four that postseason.
» The Gators are 4-3 against top-25 ranked opponents dating back to last season with all three losses coming away from their home court.
» Florida has lost five-straight and is 1-12 overall in its last 13 road games against ranked opponents. UConn, on the other hand, is 10-1 in its last 11 games against ranked opponents outside of its conference.
» The Gators are 60-8 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 60.3 points per game through seven contests, making it the stingiest in the SEC; no opponent has scored more than 69.
» Florida also sports the SEC’s best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and second-best turnover margin (+4.1 per game).
» UF has already used five different starting lineups through seven games. Only two players – seniors forward Casey Prather and center Patric Young – have started every contest thus far.
» Donovan is looking for his 16th consecutive 20-win season. Florida has him ranked sixth all-time in that category behind only Dean Smith, Lute Olson, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith and Jim Boeheim.

Read the rest of the Florida-UConn gameday preview…after the break!


Active (2): Sophomore guard DeVon Walker (foot), junior G Eli Carter (leg/ankle)
Injured (1): Freshman point guard Kasey Hill (high-ankle sprain)
Suspended (1): Redshirt junior C Damontre Harris


Dealing with injuries and suspensions all season, Florida is still nowhere near full strength but going up against its third major test of the season (second in the last four days) on Monday. The Gators will look to pull off a win on the road against a ranked opponent for just the second time in their last 14 tries while anticipating upcoming showdowns with No. 6 Kansas (Dec. 10) and No. 16 Memphis (Dec. 17). UF will get more than a week off after Monday’s contest, so Florida can leave everything out on the court as it tries to pick up its first victory against a ranked opponent in this young season.

» Senior PG Scottie Wilbekin (#5) has been a breath of fresh air for the Gators since rejoining the team last Monday following a six-game suspension. He has averaged 36 minutes per game over his last two contest and dished 7.5 assists per game while accounting for 9.5 points on average. Donovan would like to cut down his minutes and expended energy but is simply unable to with such a shallow backcourt. Wilbekin is being counted on as the sole floor general for Florida, which will ebb and flow as he does throughout the game, as well as the primary defender for UConn’s best player.

The Huskies have been in three slugfests already this year, going toe-to-toe but emerging victorious against Maryland, Boston College and Indiana in neutral-site contests. UConn has won games at home by a margin of 25.3 points but none of those were against an opponent anywhere near the caliber of UF nor are any of its seven wins against a ranked team. In fact, the Huskies do not play a top-25 team for six more weeks, meaning UConn can likely boost itself into the top-10 (and perhaps even stay there) if it can pull off a victory on Monday.

» Senior PG Shabazz Napier (#13) is just one part of a three-headed backcourt that is among the best in the nation. He leads the Huskies with averages of 15.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game and is efficient from the field, too, draining nearly 60 percent of his three-point attempts and half of his field goal tries. It will be up to Napier to shake Wilbekin and do his damage throughout the night. If the Gators can find a way to contain him, his teammate will have to step up big-time.


Young is one of three true seniors on the roster but is the only one moving his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists. He has played in 117 career games and will only add to his totals as the season progresses. Young (943) is also just 57 points away from becoming the 50th player in school history to reach 1,000.

Blocked Shots
1. Dwayne Schintzius – 272
6. Eugene McDowell – 150
7. Patric Young – 128

Field Goal Percentage (minimum 500 attempts)
1. Dwayne Davis – .641
4. Eugene McDowell – .597
5. Patric Young – .588
5. Al Horford – .588

Dunks (unofficial statistic)
1. Dwayne Davis – 168
5. Joakim Noah – 130
6. Patric Young – 119

Wins at an SEC school
1. Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) – 875
2. Dale Brown (LSU) – 448
3. Billy Donovan (Florida) – 421

One Comment

  1. SW FL Joe says:

    oh well, you really cant give up 4 point plays in the final minute

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