Dec 4, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators guard Chris Chiozza (11) drives to the basket as Florida State Seminoles guard Braian Angola (11) defends during the second half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Florida Looks To Bounce Back On Wednesday Night vs. Loyola-Chicago

Florida’s Monday meltdown vs. Florida State is now a memory of the past. Coach Mike White and the Gators have moved their focus to Wednesday night’s showdown vs. Loyola-Chicago at the O’Connell Center. The contest will be the first ever meeting between the Gators and Ramblers and a chance for UF to get themselves back on track before Saturday’s showdown in Newark vs. No. 17 Cincinnati.

Jan 11, 2017; Wichita, KS, USA; Loyola-Chicago Ramblers forward Aundre Jackson (24) drives to the basket over Wichita State Shockers guard Daishon Smith (2) during the second half at Charles Koch Arena. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Three-Point Shootout

Wednesday’s tilt features two of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation. Loyola-Chicago is shooting 43.2% from beyond the arc, good for 10th in the NCAA, while Florida is sinking 42.9% of their looks from long-range, putting them at 12th in the nation. Loyola-Chicago is also ranked 8th in the NCAA in field-goal percentage.

6’5″, 230-pound sophomore forward Aundre Jackson is the Ramblers’ most potent offensive player. Jackson is averaging 13.8 points per game and has knocked down 55.6% of his three-point looks this season. He went off for 23 points on 10-11 shooting in the team’s most recent game vs. UIC.

Twin Transfers

Along with Aundre Jackson, Illinois State transfer Clayton Custer and Fairleigh Dickinson transfer Marques Townes are both averaging a little more than 13 points per contest. Custer is the better passer of the two, notching a team-leading 4.3 assists per game.  Townes has the ability to consistently hit shots from beyond the arc (45.5% 3P), but has only scored a combined 13 points in the squad’s last two games vs. UIC and Boise State.

Dec 4, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Mike White reacts against the Florida State Seminoles during the second half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One Game At A Time

As mentioned before, Florida must quickly put their 17-point blowout loss to Florida State on Monday behind them. In that contest, Chris Chiozza had arguably his worst game of the season, going 0-5 from the field with 4 turnovers. Not a single Gator player finished the game as a positive player on the plus/minus scale. Gorjok Gak led the way with a 0 rating, while KeVaughn Allen finished with a season worst -18.

Along with their shooting woes, Florida turned the ball over a season-high 17 times and failed to get out into transition, finishing the contest with only 2 fast-break points. On top of that, the Gators missed 10 of their 15 lay-up attempts vs. the Seminoles

Battle On The Boards

After an atrocious rebounding effort vs. FSU, in which they gave up 23 offensive rebounds, the Gators will have a much easier match-up on Wednesday night vs. Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers rank 335th out of 351 Division I teams in offensive rebounding percentage.

News Of Note

Chris Chiozza now sits at No. 10 on the Florida all-time assists list after passing Brett Nelson on Monday night with his 408th career dime. He needs four more assists to pass Anthony Moten for the ninth-most assists in Gator history, and 12 more to pass Scottie Wilbekin for No. 8. Chiozza is also shooting three-pointers at a 55.6% clip this season, good for 24th in the nation.

As of Wednesday afternoon, KeVaughn Allen is Florida’s all-time leader in free-throw percentage, sinking 87.3% of his career attempts at the charity stripe. Egor Koulechov is currently ranked 10th in the NCAA in free-throw percentage, knocking down 95.7% of his free throws this season.

How To Watch And Listen

Wednesday night’s game tips-off at 8 p.m. at the O’Connell Center and can be seen on the SEC Network. Mike Morgan and Dane Bradshaw have the television call. You can listen to the game, as always, on the Gator IMG Sports Network. The contest is also being broadcasted nationally on radio on Sirius 135 and XM 191.

About Jake Winderman

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