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Florida Gators Travel to Providence
The Florida Gators Men's Basketball team prepares to board a flight to Brooklyn for their game against Providence on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (Credit @GatorsMBK on Twitter)

Game Preview: Gators Men’s Basketball Travels to Providence

The Florida men’s basketball team is back in action on Tuesday when it faces Providence at 7 p.m.  Florida (6-3) is coming off a 76-62 loss to No. 24 Butler on December 7 while Providence (6-5) won their last game 82-78 against Stony Brook.

Bouncing back

After a loss to Butler, Florida has had a lot of days to practice and fix things as they look to improve as conference play looms just around the corner.  Against the Bulldogs, the Gators shot 6 of 26 from three-point range. In addition, Florida shot poorly from the free-throw line at 66%. Percentages like these make it difficult to win.

For the season, Florida ranks 194th in field-goal percentage (43.5%) and 308th in three-point percentage (29.1%). The Gators have an opportunity to improve on these numbers against Providence’s 118th ranked defense.

Things have not been all bad for the Gators. Freshmen like Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann have shown flashes of greatness at times this season.

Young players show improvement in efficiency and effort in each game they play, and this is in large part due to the leadership on the Gator roster. Players such as Noah Locke and Kerry Blackshear Jr. have talked about taking younger players under their wing.

What to look for

The Friars have two players tied as leading scorers with 13.5 points per game in Alpha Diallo and David Duke.

Diallo, a 6’7″ senior guard from New York City, adds an impressive 8.7 rebounds per game to round out his game. Against Stony Brook, he grabbed 12 rebounds and three steals to add to his impressive 17 point total.

Duke, a 6’5″ sophomore guard from Providence, is shooting an impressive 53% from three-point range this season. He scored 22 points and was 4/6 from three against Stony Brook on December 7. Coach White will need to have his team’s rotations and on-ball switches tight to not give Duke open looks from the perimeter.

Providence’s impressive guard play against Florida’s young back court is a match up to watch on Tuesday. Players like Locke and Nembhard are experienced, but Mann and Glover will need to step up defensively.

Coverage

You can watch the game on ESPN2 and listen on radio at 103.7 FM.

About Steven Walker

Steven Walker is a beat writer for ESPN Gainesville and is currently studying Journalism & Sports Media at the University of Florida.

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