Vanderbilt forward Liam Robbins celebrates the team's win over Tennessee in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP)

Gators Basketball Set to Defend the Swamp Against Vanderbilt

Yet another upset occurred in the SEC this week, but it did not come from the Gators. On Wednesday, Vanderbilt shocked Tennessee with a buzzer-beater three-pointer to take down the number six ranked SEC squad. Florida took down Tennessee when they were ranked number two on Feb. 1. Now, Florida will host Vanderbilt in the O’Connell center on Saturday.

Gators Look to Bounce Back

Florida was massacred in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday, falling to number three Alabama 97-69. Despite the loss, senior forward Colin Castleton recorded a double-double, scoring 29 points on nine shots and 11 rebounds. He added in 11 points from the stripe. Averaging 16.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, his continued strong play is the key to the Gators late season success.

Florida holds a four game win streak at home, and will try to keep that streak going on Saturday.

They are 13-11 on the season (6-5 in SEC play).

Vanderbilt Trying to Stay Hot

Vanderbilt has played well this week, winning back-to-back games after taking a 101-44 beat down from Alabama on Jan. 31. However, they are only 2-5 away with their last road win coming Jan. 21 at Georgia.

Tim Thompson, color commentator for Vanderbilt basketball, identified some key factors from the team right now.

Liam Robbins, a senior center for the Commodores, averages 13.4 points (career-high) and 6.4 on the season. Against Tennessee, Robbins put up 14 points and nine rebounds.

In addition, junior guard Tyrin Lawrence added 19 points, including the game-winning shot. Lawrence averages 11.4 points on the season.

Thompson also noted a weakness in Vanderbilt’s lineup.

Junior guard Myles Stute is averaging 9.7 points per game this season for Vandy on 38.9% shooting. He is shooting 40.4% from beyond the arc. Both are decreases in percentages from last season. Thompson noted that if he struggles to get it going from outside, so does the rest of the squad.

He also had praise for the Commodores defense.

Vanderbilt averages 36.5 rebounds per game as a team. This number is slightly more than the 35.9 rebounds per game of the Gators.

The Commodores are currently 12-12 (5-6 in the SEC). Florida sits one spot ahead of them in SEC standings going into Saturday.

About Jack Alperstein

Jack Alperstein is currently a sophomore at the University of Florida studying Sports Journalism.

Check Also

Florida Baseball Launches 3 Homers To Secure 11-9 Win Over South Carolina

The No. 24 Florida Gators snapped a six-game losing streak Sunday with an 11-9 win …