The 10th ranked Florida Gator men’s basketball team is in Tampa Sunday taking on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Both teams entering the game are 2-0 on the season. The Gators are coming off a dominant 74-56 win over 22nd ranked Wisconsin last Wednesday while the Blue Raiders defeated the Savannah State Tigers 58-55 this past Tuesday.
Florida has never faced Middle Tennessee State but is however 10-4 all-time against current Sun Belt teams, including an 8-1 record under head coach Billy Donovan. So far this year the Gators are averaging 79 points per game while allowing opponents just 49 points. From the field, Florida is shooting 53 percent and holding teams to just 28 percent.
UF has defended the three point line well so far this season, allowing teams to shoot just 25 percent. If the Gators wish to maintain their success they will have to continue defending well especially against a Blue Raider team that’s shooting 46 percent from the field and 41 percent from the arc. The Gators at this point are averaging 13 assists a game but have been turning the ball over 16 times compared to Middles Tennessee’s 19 assists to 14 turnovers.
Last season, Middle Tennessee finished 27-7; the most wins in program history and the team also won the 2012 regular season Sun Belt Conference Championship and broke another school record by winning 14 conference games.
Senior guard Marcos Knight leads the Blue Raiders in scoring per game with 12 points, followed by forward Jason Jones with 10. Senior forward JT Sulton and senior guard Bruce Massey average around seven rebounds a game to lead the team.
Florida’s leading scorer is senior forward Erik Murphy with 19 points, shooting 75 percent from the floor and 62 percent from the three point line. Senior guard Kenny Boynton follows with 16 points a game, shooting 57 percent from the field and 55 percent from deep.
Boynton is just three points shy of tying Dwayne Schintzius for sixth on Florida’s all time scoring list at 1,624 points.
Tipoff is set at 4 p.m. in the Tampa Bay Times Forum where the Gators since 2003 have a 7-3 record and have won three games in a row which include second and third round games from the 2011 NCAA tournament. You can hear the game live on Country 103-7 The Gator starting at 3:25pm.