The last time the Florida Gators basketball team saw Angel Rodriguez, he was hitting a deep three at the buzzer to knock off then-Top 10 Florida 69-67. The roles are flipped this Tuesday, as the Canes (6-1) come into the match up as the home team, and as the ranked team.
Mike White has led the Gators to a 6-1 start, with an impressive twenty point win on December 1st against a Richmond team that was coming off of an upset victory over #14 California. Finney-Smith, Egbunu and Robinson all finished with double digit rebounds, only the third time in the last 20 years that a major conference team had three players with 13+ rebounds. Size will be needed against the 21st ranked Hurricanes who ran rampant through the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Championship, scoring 105 against Mississippi State, 90 against Utah, and 85 against Butler.
The Gators have faced one ranked team so far, a 85-70 loss to now-11th ranked Purdue, in a game where Florida was down three with less than nine minutes left before Purdue ran away. Mike White’s bunch will now have a tough week, at #21 Miami followed by #3 Michigan State in East Lansing. Junior point guard Kasey Hill noted that the Gators schedule only gets harder after the win against Richmond.
Florida has three players averaging over 11 points per game and eight or more rebounds per game (Finney-Smith, Egbunu, and Robinson) and have out-rebounded their opponents by a total of 65 rebounds so far this season.
First year head coach Mike White gave his reason to why the Gators have been so successful after finishing with 21 more rebounds than Richmond.
The Hurricanes are coming off of back-to back wins. The first was a road OT win against Nebraska in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and they just recently defeated Charlotte Saturday 88-60.
Tip-off from Coral Gables and the BankUnited Center between Miami and Florida Tuesday is set for 7:00 p.m. on ESPN2.