The Florida Gator men’s basketball team will return to the court Tuesday night as they host the Missouri Tigers. The Gators are riding high on a 12 game win streak and will be looking to make it lucky number 13.
The Gators (19-2, 8-0) have been playing stifling defense as of late, holding opponents under 60 points in their last three contests. Most recently the Gators walloped the Texas A&M Aggies by a score of 69-36.
Despite having a struggling offense that shot 40 percent from the field and 20 percent from behind the arc, the Gators were able to dominate in virtually every other category. The Gators had one of their best games on the boards hauling in 57 total rebounds, with 40 coming on the defensive end.
The Gators were led by sophomore Michael Frazier II who tied a career high with 21 points, and senior Patric Young who finished with a career high 14 rebounds. Moving forward the Gators will have to be successful in all phases to continue their winning ways.
Luckily for the Gators, a new body will take the floor Tuesday night and he should only help the Gators be that much more dynamic. 6’10″ freshman forward Chris Walker out of Holmes County will make his debut for the Orange and Blue Tuesday and he will look to make a huge impact early. Walker has been with the team since December 14th, and was held out of the first 12 games by the NCAA.
With Walker being such a highly touted recruit out of high school, Donovan spoke yesterday on what the freshman can bring to the Gators.
“I think that the thing with Chris is that he plays with good energy. He plays with a good motor and he is athletic. He can run and he is a good rebounder,” he said.
Overall, the expectations on Walker have been very high and every Gator fan will be looking for him to produce early. With the extra depth Walker provides to the front court, Young and fellow senior Will Yeguete can only get extra rest themselves.
The Tigers (16-5, 4-4) will be coming into this game having lost two of their last four, with their most recent loss by way of Kentucky 84-79 in Columbia. Florida and Mizzou split the series last season with both teams winning at home, and this will be the only meeting between these two in 2014.
The Tigers boast two of the best guards in the SEC in juniors Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson. Brown averages 20 points per game, the best in the SEC while Clarkson averages nearly 18 points a game. With the impressive lineup the Tigers boast, Donovan spoke on what will give his team the most trouble.
“Their three guys on the perimeter are difficult covers because you can play really good defense and still give up points. I think you look at a guy like Jabari Brown shooting 57 percent; he’s getting everyone’s attention and he’s done it against great defenses.”
The Gators will be looking to win their 28th straight home game and the home crowd will no doubt be in attendance for this prime time matchup.
You can hear all the action of tonight’s matchup on our sister station Country 103.7 The Gator with coverage starting at 8:25 followed by tip at 9.
For more of Billy Donovan’s pre-game comments, click on the links below: