Florida guard Brandon McKissic (23) takes a shot over Florida State guard Anthony Polite (2) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gators men’s basketball hits the court versus Cal

It’s an SEC and Pac-12 battle Monday night as the 24th ranked Florida men’s basketball team (3-0) travels to Fort Myers to take on Cal (2-2). Both teams are coming off of Thursday wins as the Gators destroyed the Milwaukee Panthers 81-45 while Cal defeated Southern Utah 75-68 in double overtime.

What to Expect

The undefeated Gators boasted an impressive performance over the Panthers. The senior dynamic duo of forward Colin Castleton and point guard Tyree Appleby didn’t disappoint. Castleton recorded his second straight double-double in the game with 10 rebounds and 19 points. Appleby rounded up 14 points, which included four three-pointers, six rebounds and five assists.

The Gators never trailed in the game and even put up an 11-point lead by halftime. Florida shot 47% overall in the game and posted 50% in the second half itself. Florida’s defense was able to keep the Panthers shot at a mere 31%. In UF’s last three games, the team has only permitted its opponents to shoot a combined 35.8%. After Florida left the O’Dome Thursday, the Gators were No. 16 in the country in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com metrics.

UF will have to keep an eye on Cal forward Andre Kelly in Monday’s matchup. The senior tallied up 29 points and 15 rebounds in the Southern Utah game, both career highs. Kelly leads the Golden Bears with 16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Florida will also need to keep forward Grant Anticevich and guard Jordan Shepherd in check as the two are Cal’s top three-point threats. Anticevich had a good game Thursday, slating 15 points with eight rebounds.

The Gators and the Golden Bears have only met twice in program history, with both matchups dating back to the 1980s. Florida has never beaten Cal. The two teams last met on Nov. 25, 1988 where Cal crushed Florida 73-58.

The two team’s will face off Monday at 8:30 p.m.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a fourth-year journalism student specializing in sports and media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at k.wadulack@ufl.edu

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