The Florida men’s basketball team is back on the road, except this time in Kansas City, Missouri taking on the Kansas State Wildcats. This is a return game for the Gators from the team’s 2010 season when they met in Sunrise, Florida. This will be just the second time these two teams have met with the Gators winning the only meeting 57-44 back in December 2010. The orange and blue hold an 18-12 record against current members of the Big 12. UF has held six of its nine opponents to under 50 points, establishing themselves as the number one scoring defense in the nation.
Under new head coach Bruce Weber the Wildcats have an overall record this season of 8-2, averaging 71 points per game, shooting 42 percent from the floor while holding teams to just 57 points a game, 39 percent from the field and 26 percent from the three point line. The Cats are averaging 16 assists, 13 turnovers a game and struggling from the free throw line, shooting 66 percent. Kansas State has been able to cause opponents to turn the ball over around 16 times a game.
Senior guard Rodney McGruder is the Cats leading scorer with 13 points a game; he’s shooting 42 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Angel Rodriguez is second on the team in scoring, averaging ten points, shooting 36 percent from the floor and 34 percent from the three point line and leads the team in assists with four a game. Sophomore forward Thomas Gipson leads the team in rebounds with seven a game.
The Associated Press has Florida ranked 8th in the nation; the coaches poll has them 9th. The Gators are averaging 73 points per game, shooting 47 percent from the floor and 36 percent from the arc. They’re holding teams to 35 percent shooting from the field and 30 percent from three. UF is shooting 72 percent from the free throw line, averaging 14 assists, 12 turnovers and causing opponents to turn the ball over around 16 times a game.
Senior guard Mike Rosario takes over as the teams leading scorer with 13 points a game while shooting 48 percent from the field and 36 percent from the three point line. Fellow senior guard Kenny Boynton is second on the team in scoring with 12 points, shooting 35 percent from the floor. Boynton has been struggling from the three point line this year shooting 28 percent. In the last five games, Kenny has gone 16-55 (29%) from the floor and 7-36 (19%) from deep. Junior center Patric Young and junior forward Will Yeguete both lead the team in rebounds per game with seven. Junior guard Scottie Wilbekin leads the team with four assists a game.
Tipoff is set for tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN 2.