Gators
Gators men's basketball freshman forward Alex Condon reacts after an and-1 layup in the team's upset win over No. 16 Alabama on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Photo courtesy of Maddie Washburn.

Gators Men’s Basketball Faces Vanderbilt in Final Regular-Season Game

The Gators men’s basketball team travels to Nashville, Tennessee, to face the Vanderbilt Commodores (8-22, 3-14 SEC) Saturday for its final regular season game. Florida will be right back in Nashville after this game for the SEC Tournament.

As it stands right now, UF ( 21-9, 11-6 SEC) sits as the six-seed team in the SEC. Vanderbilt sits in second to last at No. 13.

Quick Flashback

Back on Feb. 24, the Gators handled the Commodores in the O’Connell Center by a score of 77-64. From the efforts of Will Richard, Walter Clayton Jr. and Tyrese Samuel, Florida was able to bounce back after their tough overtime loss against Alabama Feb. 21.

The Gators found themselves up 35-20 at the end of the first half. In the second half, the Gators led by 10 or more for the remainder of the game.

As far as rebounds and turnovers go, the Gators and the Commodores have similar stats. However, the field goal percentage is what led the Gators to a victory. The Commodores shot 35.7% from the field, while Florida shot 46.7%.

Keys to the Game

UF finds themselves as the third-highest scoring team in the SEC with 85.1 points per game. Additionally, Todd Golden’s squad has three top-25 scorers in the conference in Clayton Jr., Samuel and Zyon Pullin.

Pullin has played 27 games, and he is the 14th-leading scorer in the SEC. However, he only scored two points in the last game against the Commodores.

Vanderbilt ranks dead last in scoring. Averaging only 67 points per game, the Commodores will have to get creative to find ways to score against the Gators.

Rebounding

Arguably one of the Gators’ best qualities is rebounding. They can fight off anybody on the glass, no matter the side of the court. Florida has been brought down 1,297 boards this season. The team also leads the country in rebounds per game, bringing down 43.23.

Vanderbilt outrebounded UF 38-37 in their last matchup.

Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m. today in Memorial Gymnasium. The SEC Network and 103.7-FM will provide the coverage.

About Dylan Pierce

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