Florida guard Brandon McKissic (23) drives to the basket around Auburn guard Wendell Green Jr. (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Gators Set for Road Matchup with Mizzou

February basketball is officially here, and for the Florida Gators, it begins in Columbia against the Missouri Tigers. Florida is coming off a win over Oklahoma State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, while Mizzou lost to Iowa State in the challenge.

Tip-Off Time Change

Today’s game was originally scheduled for a 9 p.m. EST tip-off. However, a winter storm is expected to hit Columbia this evening bringing anywhere from 11 to 15 inches of snow. As a result, the tip-off was moved ahead six hours and will now be at 3 p.m. EST.

Florida’s Season

The Gators’ season thus far has been one of highs and lows. They started hot, going 7-0 with wins over Florida State and Ohio State. Since then, the team has slumped and gone on a rough SEC run.

Losses have come to Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee. All of those games, save maybe the Auburn game, Florida could have won had a couple more things gone their way. Yet Florida’s struggles in close games have plagued them, along with their struggles on offense, especially with Colin Castleton being out due to injury.

Last game’s comeback win over Oklahoma State was a good addition to the Gator’s resume, and a possible turning point. Looking ahead, Florida’s next three games are all winnable. Now is the time they can get hot again.

Missouri’s Season

The Tigers so far have had a season to forget. Other than an upset win over a ranked Alabama, Mizzou has not had much to celebrate. The Tigers are 8-12 and have lost five of their last six games.

They still have time to make up ground in the SEC standings, but it is going to require a massive turnaround in the team’s play. Their worst losses have come when their offense has fallen asleep. In their last game, three of Missouri’s starters combined for five points. That lack of production will not win games, especially in conference play.

Key Players

Without Colin Castleton, the Gators have relied on the likes of Tyree Appleby and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. to lead the team. Appleby is coming off a 21-point game against Oklahoma State, and he averages 10.6 points per game and leads the team in assists and steals. Other notables for Florida include Myreon Jones and the center Jason Jitoboh.

Missouri’s player to watch is forward Kobe Brown. He leads the team in points, rebounds, steal and blocks. Despite his great numbers, he has not played well in recent games, including shooting one for eight in the Tigers’ last game against Iowa State.

Where and When to Watch

The game will be played at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO. Tip-off is set for three-o’clock with live coverage on SEC Network and WRUF radio.

About Jack Shivertaker

Jack Shivertaker is a senior at the University of Florida pursuing a degree in Journalism with a focus on sports media.

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