For the fourth time in five games the Florida men’s basketball team is on the road taking on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Florida will try for its eighth straight win and as the Gators lead the all time series 58-49 with coach Billy Donovan sporting an 11-8 record against the Bulldogs. The Gators are 4-4 at MSU with Donovan as coach and in Starkville hold a 20-34 record. Six of the last seven meetings between these two teams were decided by single digits.
The Gators have continued to show they are more than capable of shutting opponents down defensively. UF has held nine teams under 50 points and 13 under 60, ranking them third in the nation in scoring defense. Florida junior center Patric Young and junior forward Will Yeguete lead the team with six rebounds a game. Yeguete spoke about how important it is for them playing good defense consistently.
Senior guard Kenny Boynton leads UF in scoring at 13 points a game. Boynton is followed by senior forward Erik Murphy who averages 12 points on 54 percent shooting from the field and 45 percent from the three point line. Collectively the team is shooting around 48 percent from the floor ranking them first in the SEC.
For the Bulldogs, they’re fifth in the SEC in steals per game with eight and have three players with 20 or more steals. Junior guard Jalen Steele, sophomore forward Roquez Johnson and freshman guard Fred Thomas all lead the team in scoring with ten points a game. Gator coach Billy Donovan says in order for his team to be successful, they will need to shut down Steele.
Florida is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and has a 14-2 record and is 5-0 in the SEC. Under new head coach Rick Ray, Mississippi State is 7-10, 2-3 in SEC play but are 5-2 at home so far this season.
Catch live coverage of the game tonight starting at 7:25pm right here on ESPN Radio 850/900.