On Thursday night the 10th ranked Florida Gator men’s basketball team will open up SEC play as they play host to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Gators are coming into this contest sitting 11-2 overall and riding a five game win streak. The Gamecocks have been finding their own success as of late winning their last four despite a record of 7-6.
The Gators are coming off a tough 67-58 win over the Richmond Spiders in which the Gators shot just 46% from the field and an even worse 26% from three. Despite the low shooting percentages the Gators finished that game with four players in double digits, led by sophomore shooting guard Michael Frazier II.
The Gators have been able to spread the ball around and find scorers from all positions. The Gators currently sit with five players averaging double figures led by senior Casey Prather who is averaging just over 17 points per game.
The Gamecocks are coming off a close 82-75 victory over South Carolina State. The Gamecocks started slowly, losing to teams like UC Upstate and Manhattan, but of late have played better in getting wins over teams like Saint Mary’s.
The Gamecocks also came within two points of beating 23rd ranked Baylor and second year head coach Frank Martin will seek to gain his team’s biggest win of the year. The Gamecocks have three players averaging double digits this year led by junior guard Tyrone Johnson who is averaging just under 12 points per game.
The Gators have won four straight against South Carolina and 11 of the last 14 contests. In the last meeting between these two inside the O’Dome, the Gators came away with a lopsided 75-36 win. However, despite the Gators recent success, Gator coach Billy Donovan knows his team cannot look past this game.
“The biggest difference from last year to this year is that their personnel, it is totally different.”
The Gators realize this Gamecocks squad will be out for revenge and that this is not the team they so easily beat a year ago. Sophomore Michael Frazier II talked this week about the team treating this game as any other.
“We’re just trying to focus on each game and each team. We’re not trying to look too far ahead,” he said.
You can hear all the action of Thursday’s game on our sister station Country 103.7 The Gator, with coverage beginning at 6:25 followed by tip at 7.
Click on the links below to hear more from Billy Donovan and Michael Frazier II before the game.