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Kentucky vs @Florida...RD.2....A Preview

Kentucky vs Florida 3/1/16 
Tuesday 7PM (ESPN)
Game is at Florida

Kentucky leads series over Florida 97-37

Florida Gators (SEC)

Location: Ganesville, Fla.
Enrollment: 49,042
Arena: 12,000 (Average Home Attendance 9,620)

Head Coach: Michael White
Career Record: 101-40 (71.6%) 4 Seasons
At Florida: First Season

2014-15 Record: 16-17
2014-15 SEC Record: 8-10
2014-15 Postseason: None

2015-16 Record: 17-12
2015-16 SEC Record: 8-8

Florida 59 Navy 41
Florida 104 North Carolina A&T 54
Florida 74 Saint Joseph 63
Purdue 85 Florida 70
Florida 86 Vermont 62
Florida 70 Florida Gulf Coast 50
Florida 76 Richmond 56
Miami 66 Florida 55
Michigan State 58 Florida 52
Florida 72 Oklahoma State 70
Florida 89 Jacksonville 65
Florida State 73 Florida 71
Florida 77 Georgia 63 
Tennessee 83 Florida 69
Florida 68 LSU 62
Texas A&M 71 Florida 68
Florida 80 Ole Miss 71
Florida 81 Mississippi State 78
Florida 95 Auburn 63
Vanderbilt 60 Florida 59
Florida 88 West Virginia 71
Florida 87 Arkansas 83
Kentucky 80 Florida 61
Florida 77 Ole Miss 72
Alabama 61 Florida 55
Florida 57 Georgia 53
South Carolina 73 Florida 69 (OT)
Vanderbilt 87 Florida 74 
LSU 96 Florida 91

Florida Stats:
3 PT%-31.6% (7.0 PG)
RPG-40.2 (+2.9)

Probable Starting Lineup:

Dorian-Finney Smith-F 6’8” Sr…………..……15.2 PPG
KeVaughn Allen-G 6’2” Fr……………………12.1 PPG
Chris Chiozza-G 6’0” Soph……………………7.9 PPG
John Egbunu-C 6’11” Soph……………………11.4 PPG
Kasey Hill-G 6’1” Soph………………………..7.9 PPG

Other Key Players:

B. Francis-Ramirez-G 6’5” Fr………………….1.4 PPG
Devin Robinson-F 6’8” Soph…………………...8.1 PPG
Kevarrius Hayes-F 6’9” Fr……………………...1.3 PPG

Michael White has now replaced long time Gator coach Billy Donovan who left for the NBA. Coach White did an excellent job at Louisiana Tech in his 4 years with a 71.6% winning percentage. White, who is only 38, has been tabbed by many analysts as a terrific young coach….certainly, he will have a big challenge replacing Billy Donovan who had a great career at Florida winning 2 NCAA championships. 

The Gators got off to a decent start this season winning 9 of their first 13 games which included losses to highly ranked Purdue and Michigan State. However, they are only 8-8 in the SEC having lost 4 of their last 5….and 5 of their last 7 SEC games. This is a young Florida team aside from senior Dorian-Finney Smith….as their 8 man rotation includes 3 freshmen and 4 sophomores. There is talent on this young Gator team, but overall they have not been a good shooting team from the field or from the charity line.

Dorian-Finney Smith is enjoying a very good senior year as he leads the team in scoring and rebounds plus being the best perimeter shooter hitting 59-150 for a very good 39.3%.

Sophomore John Egbunu leads the team in blocks with 44 and Kasey Hill leads in steals with 38. 

Florida is 12-3 at home and will be sky high to payback UK for the 81-60 loss at Rupp arena. That game was essentially over at halftime with UK leading 50-32 and the Cats shooting lights out with Murray scoring 35 points. Coach White knows the Gators are NIT bound unless they can end their regular SEC schedule on a positive note and win the SEC tourney….so look for a jammed arena and a fired up Gator team when UK arrives in Gainesville!

Kentucky Stats:

3 PT %-35.1% (6.6 PG)
RPG-42.1 (+5.2)

Kentucky lost a winnable game 72-64 against Vandy as they had a terrible shooting day….except for Murray who continues to shoot lights out from the perimeter. UK got absolutely nothing from their frontline except for Lee who did score 9 points. However, Poythress scored zero points in 16 minutes and Skal along with Humphries contributed nothing. Ulis had his worst shooting game at UK going 5-20…0-7 from the perimeter…and even missing 2 of his 4 free throws. Briscoe is arguably the worst shooter in the history of UK basketball as he is has hit only 5-36 perimeter shots for 13.9% and is hitting an embarrassing 39.6% on 40-101 from the charity line. Yet, in the Vandy game, Briscoe shot 3 perimeter shots…and the question is why allow Briscoe to ever shoot a long range shot? Frankly, Briscoe has become a huge liability on the offensive end when he can’t make jump shots and when fouled going to the basket he can’t make free throws. 

All year long, we have known that our frontline was weak on the offensive end….and we hoped to see Skal make significant improvement, but he hasn’t. Unfortunately, this is UK’s weakest frontline since Cal has been at UK and unless the Cats start getting some offensive support for easy baskets in the paint….it will place great pressure on UK’s guards to score against NCAA opponents. Certainly, getting Willis back will help a lot, but Skal’s disappointing season has hurt the Cats a lot. No one dreamed that Skal would be placed on the bench and getting 7-10 minutes a game….no one dreamed that he would be weak in the paint and poor in garnering rebounds. 

Hopefully, Cal can work his magic and perhaps tweak the lineup and or rotation….and make some changes that will help the Cats to improve their overall play and consistency.
One change I would like to see is give Hawkins and maybe Mulder more minutes and cut back Briscoe’s minutes. 

Florida will be a tough game for this UK team that has been very poor on the road this season. I’ll be happy with even a win of 1 point….it’s time for UK to start winning away from Rupp Arena. 


This post first appeared on Wildcats Thunder, please read the originial post: here

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Kentucky vs @Florida...RD.2....A Preview


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