The second ranked Florida Gator men’s basketball team will be on the road Saturday as it faces the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi. The Gators (24-2, 13-0) are coming into this game fresh off a five point victory over the Auburn Tigers in what may have been their toughest win of the season.
For the fifth straight game the Gators found themselves trailing at the half, and once again they found themselves outplaying their opponents in the second half. The Gators claimed their 18thth straight victory overall, a team best and their 30thth straight win inside the O’dome. Most importantly the Gators were able to put another single digit win on their resume.
The Rebels will be coming into this game 16-10 overall and 7-6 in the conference. Last time out, the Rebels fell to the Kentucky Wildcats by double digits and they will be looking to end their streak of three straight losses. The Rebels have been led this season by junior Jarvis Summers who is averaging just over 17 points per game and the name everyone knows in senior Marshall Henderson who is averaging just over 19 points per game.
The last time hese teams met, the Rebels took down the Gators in the 2013 SEC tournament by a score of 66-63. Henderson finished with 21 points in that game, connecting on three of eight from beyond the arc. Despite having numbers slightly down from a year ago, Gators head coach Billy Donovan knows he can hurt his team on Saturday.
“You’re not going to take away all of his shots, I think Andy [Kennedy] puts him in situations to utilize his strengths and he has a lot of confidence in Henderson.”
Before their recent loss at home to Kentucky, the Rebels had failed to lose at home all season to another SEC opponent, and they will be looking to revitalize that streak on Saturday. Despite their 7-6 record in the conference, Donovan knows his team cannot overlook the Rebels.
“They’re a team that shoots over 40 percent from home, they lead the league in number of three’s made, and it will be a great challenge defensively because they score a lot of points.”
The Gators will most likely have to go through Saturday’s game without freshman Kasey Hill who is doubtful, but overall the Gators will continue to look at their four starting seniors for leadership.
The Gators and Rebels will tip-off at noon on Saturday; you can hear the action live on Country 103-7 The Gator at 11:25am.
For more of Billy Donovan’s pre-game comments click on the links below: