The Gators men’s basketball team will close out the regular season this weekend when it hosts LSU at the O’Connell Center. Florida will commemorate its seniors prior to tip-off.
Gators Grab Win at Georgia
In the second meeting against former coach Mike White, the Gators handled business similar to the first. Florida was efficient from the field, shooting 53.7% from the floor and 36.8% from three en route to a 10-point victory. The win was Florida’s first since losing All-SEC forward Colin Castleton to a broken hand against Ole Miss.
5th straight win in The Steg #GoGators | presented by @WellsFargo pic.twitter.com/uOGl2o9q4w
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) March 1, 2023
The Gators were led by Will Richard in “his best game as a gator,” according to Todd Golden. The Belmont transfer posted a career-high 24 points and accounted for five of Florida’s seven three-pointers.
Senior guard Myreon Jones stuffed the stat sheet for the Gators. The Birmingham, Alabama native finished the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. In addition to his first career double double, Jones tacked on four assists, two steals and only turned the ball over once.
Freshman standout Riley Kugel also added on 19 points for Florida. Kugel has now scored in double figures seven consecutive times and has been one of the key contributors in Castleton’s absence.
In a matchup of first year head coaches, Todd Golden got the better of Matt McMahon earlier this season. The Gators were led by Castleton who had 18 points and Kowacie Reeves off the bench with 11 of his own.
The Gators will have to likely have to rely on perimeter shooting without Castleton, who dominated the paint against LSU. The Deland native made a career high 12 shots from the charity stripe.
However, if the Gators are to have success, it will probably come on the defensive end. In the last meeting against LSU, Florida held the Tigers to just 32.2% shooting from the floor and 5/29 from beyond the arc. The Gators defensive effort was also highlighted by forcing 15 turnovers which turned into 23 points the other way.
The Tigers will turn to its leading scorer, KJ Williams, who had 23 when both squads met in January.
Williams has been outstanding for the Tigers this season. The Murray State transfer is averaging 29.3 points per game in his last three games; all of whom were SEC opponents.
“Good post players do their work without the ball”
Check out the breakdown of KJ Williams’ game in the latest edition of the Film Room with @LSUTigersVoice and @CoachMcMahon! pic.twitter.com/iaw9Q9NOjC
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) March 2, 2023
If Florida can contain Williams, it will likely head into the SEC tournament with a home victory to close out the regular season.
LSU will visit Florida at the O’Connell Center at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 4. The game will be aired on SEC Network.