The Florida Gator men’s basketball team will look for its second straight win Friday night as they welcome the Tigers from Texas Southern.
The Gators (4-4) are coming off quite possibly their best performance of the season defeating the Yale Bulldogs 85-47 Monday night and for the first time all season the Gators were able to put together 60 strong minutes of play.
The Gators shot a ridiculous 67 percent in the first half and a slightly less 59 percent in the second, but overall had their highest output of the season. The team finished with four players in double figures with a couple key guys having maybe their best games of the season.
Sophomore forward Chris Walker finished with 13 points, shooting 6-of-10 from the field and while Gator head coach Billy Donovan boasted about Walker’s performance following Saturday night’s game, he knows there is still room for him to grow.
“I think he can still get better on screening action, screening actions on him and screening actions when his man is screening but I think he’s picking things up. I think he’s at a place where his is continuing to grow and get better.”
The other stand-out performer for the Gators on Monday night was sophomore point guard Kasey Hill who with 10 points, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and Walker says he’s watched him grow as a player this season.
“I think Kasey is becoming a great leader on this team. I knew he had potential because I’ve been playing with him since 8th grade and I like what he’s doing now.”
One player the Gators hope to see back on Friday is shooting guard Eli Carter. The redshirt junior has seemingly been ineffective that last four games, playing just 13 minutes. Carter has been battling a mid-foot sprain but Donovan says he should see at least some time on the court against the Tigers.
“I still think he’s not moving the way I would like him to move, I don’t know if that’s him being cautious or if it’s him feeling pain there. But he feels like he can go and as I said last week he was cleared to go and it was on him and he’s at a place right now where he wants to do it.”
Carter is averaging nine points per game and sits second on the team in points scored and the Gators could use his offensive production as they progress deeper into the season.
The Tigers will be entering this game with just one win on the season, having lost every game away from home. Despite their struggles the Tigers do have three players averaging double figures, led by junior Chris Thomas who is shooting 41 percent from the field, averaging 16 points per game.
The Tigers have been beaten by double figures in every game this season but Donovan notes that they will showcase some things his team hasn’t yet seen.
“Texas Southern is really in a lot of ways totally different than Yale. Their philosophy and the way they defend is totally different so this will be a different game for us.”
The Gators will be looking for their first winning streak of the season and their fourth win inside the O’Dome.
You can hear all the action of Friday’s game on our sister station 103.7 the Gator with coverage starting at 6:25 followed by tip at 7pm.
For audio of the quotes above, click on the links below: