Florida's Tuongthach Gatkek, center, celebrates after beating Missouri 66-65 in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Columbia, Mo. Florida won 66-65. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

College Men’s Basketball Preview: Florida vs. Kentucky

The Florida Gators (16-8) hit the road to take on the Kentucky Wildcats (20-4) Saturday at 4 p.m.

Florida

https://twitter.com/GatorsMBK/status/1492151616849551364?s=20&t=699pTDfQMwzBMYjJy67RLA

The Florida Gators have won their past four games, but can they win the big one?

The Florida men’s basketball team is coming off the backs of a comfortable win against the Georgia Bulldogs and they are looking ahead to their tough slate of games. The big test comes on Saturday, they will be playing the well oiled machine that is Kentucky. When you are playing a team that averages 81 points a game you have to use the momentum and go into the game strong.

Coach Mike White had this to say when looking at the future schedule.

We can see, the Gators have had an up and down season. They have hot streaks like this past one, and the one to start the season, and then they have stretches of terrible shooting and struggles to get a win. The key to this team is staying on the court. They have had COVID protocols to many players and they have had an injury to their main offensive threat Colin Castleton. If they want to win, they need this team to be at their best and high energy.

When it comes down to it, the Gators will be dependent on their three-point shooting and their energetic defense. The Gators have struggled shooting threes at a high efficiency. The Gators over their past 24 games have averaged 26.3 three point attempts per game converting at 30.7%. Simply the gators main offense besides Colin Castleton is shooting threes and they are not efficient at it. If the Gators want to win consistently, they will either have to improve their conversion rate or change their scheme.

Coach Mike White said this when talking about the teams shooting.

Asking a team as a whole to shoot better and or change a scheme is near impossible. However over this past win streak the Gators have had star performers. In the win over Georgia, Guard Myreon Jones had a great game. He scored 23 points while hitting seven threes efficiently. The Gators need a big game not only to get a win, but also to do well with this next set of games.

Jones had this to say about his shooting.

Kentucky

https://twitter.com/KentuckyMBB/status/1491517263962198020?s=20&t=699pTDfQMwzBMYjJy67RLA

To be blunt, the Wildcats are a great and strong team. As a team they shoot 50 percent from the field, a full seven percentage points higher than the Gators, and have the ninth ranked points per game in all of college basketball.

Kentucky, known for being one of the best programs in the country, has not disappointed this year. They have beaten once in their past ten games and that was to No. 1 ranked Auburn. They have beaten a ranked Tennessee team and a top ten ranked Kansas team. There is not much to say about Kentucky.

As a team they have only allowed 64.5 points a game while maintaining the high powered offense. This team will be playing at home and will be expecting a win.

About Ryan Burke

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