Colin Castleton contests a shot in the Gator men's basketball team's 73-64 win over Missouri on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Ashley Ray.

Florida Men’s Basketball Seeks Fourth Conference Win in College Station

Reed Arena should be rocking as two red-hot SEC teams are set to collide Wednesday. The Florida Gators (10-7, 3-2 SEC) migrate west to seek revenge against Texas A&M (12-5, 4-0 SEC). Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Florida On Fire

The Gators have played five straight SEC games since beginning conference play on Dec. 28. They had a rocky start, dropping the first two — one of which to Texas A&M. Head coach Todd Golden voiced his frustration with the team’s turnover tendencies in that loss.

Following their loss to the Aggies, the Gators made a dramatic turnaround and are currently on a three-game winning streak. Their last outing was a commanding victory over ranked SEC opponent Missouri. Though perimeter shooting played a big part in that win, the interior play of center Colin Castleton has elevated Florida’s performance during this stretch.

Castleton was named SEC player of the week on Monday. Coach Golden is thrilled with the fifth-year’s recent presence on the court.

The Gators look to carry this momentum through the coming months to strengthen their case for the tournament in March.

Texas A&M is also riding a hot streak, winning their last six games. They have yet to lose in SEC play, so a Gators win would be pivotal for their SEC record and postseason resumé.

Keys to Victory

If the Gators are going to win this game, rebounding is essential. The Aggies are aggressive on the offensive boards, and they create mutiple second chance points. A large portion of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of Castleton, who leads the Gators in rebounding by a steep margin. However, if the Aggies focus on boxing out Castleton, other players are going to have to attack the glass to compensate.

For a Texas A&M victory, mitigating the Gators’ three-point shooting is important. In the game against Missouri, Florida notched 10 triples, shooting 43.5% from beyond the arc. The Aggies guards will have to keep pressure on Florida shooters to make sure no deep balls go uncontested.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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