Florida forward Keyontae Johnson (11) drives past Vanderbilt forward Oton Jankovic (55) during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (Wade Payne/The Tennessean via AP)

UF Opens SEC Play With Game At Vandy

UF men’s basketball gears up for tip-off on Wednesday against the Vanderbilt Commodores.  It will be the SEC opener for both teams and unexpectedly, both teams have fewer games under their belts than originally planned, but the game is still expected to be played as scheduled.

Game Cancellations

Like many other teams, both Vanderbilt and Florida faced cancellations early in their seasons due to positive COVID-19 cases within their programs. Vanderbilt cancelled their first four games of December after having a positive test in their organization. Florida ran into similar issues with Bubbleville, when they had to pause team activities for a week. They made up for two out of the three cancelled games by facing unscheduled teams when activities resumed.

Florida postponed their four most recent games to give the team and others time to emotionally process the news about Keyontae Johnson.

During the Gators’ away matchup against Florida State, Johnson unexpectedly collapsed on the court. He spent two days at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital before being airlifted back to Gainesville to be treated at UF Health. Johnson spent the holidays with his family after his release on the 22nd.

Information on what caused his collapse is still developing, and his family says they will release that knowledge when they know.

UF vs Vandy Records

During the 2019-2020 season, Florida and Vanderbilt faced off twice, both resulting in wins for the Gators. The Gators had the same record during the 2018-2019 season as well. Florida’s most recent loss to the Commodores was in their second match up during the 2017-2018 season. Vanderbilt won 71-68 in Nashville in that contest.

Florida has not faced another opponent since the Florida State game, while Vanderbilt has played five of their six games in the time period.

The Commodores are 4-2 so far for the season and Florida is 3-1. Tip-off is at 9pm EST.

About Rylee McIver

Rylee is a third year Journalism major with a specialization in sports and media at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

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