Florida faces its toughest test of the season yet Wednesday night in the O’Connell Center, as the Gators (12-9) will welcome in the No. 2 ranked Volunteers (18-3). Tip off is set for 7.
Game day on the O'Dome stage ▶️#GoGators pic.twitter.com/dFxTzCuKyO
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) February 1, 2023
The Gators have had trouble shooting the ball, particularly from deep, all season up to this point. And that once again came to be a big factor on Saturday, when Florida fell at the hands of Kansas State in Manhattan.
The Volunteers will be a different animal.
If the Gators come into the game shooting as poorly as they have been, the dynamic Volunteer offense could produce a big lead quickly.
Veterans Colin Castleton and Kyle Lofton will be the keys for Florida. Their veteran leadership and pick-and-roll action could give the Orange & Blue the boost they need to pull of the upset.
Head coach Todd Golden discussed how teams have been guarding Castleton this season and what the offense needs to do against Tennessee.
There really isn’t much but positives things to say about the Volunteers’ season thus far. They’re in prime position to earn a top seed in the NCAA tournament next month and have been dominating both sides of the ball. They’re coming off of a top-10 win against Texas and have lost just one SEC game.
Zakai Ziegler has been terrific for the Volunteers, his veteran presence and ability to control the offense being a huge reason for their success.
The key for Tennessee against the Gators is to simply trust what’s been working so well for them all season: their defense. Game-planning for Castleton and being efficient on both ends is how the Volunteers can leave Gainesville with a win.
Tennessee basketball analyst Bert Bertelkamp discussed the Volunteers’ success this season and how they’ve been preparing for Florida.