Florida visits No. 6 Kentucky

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Florida forward Keyontae Johnson comes down with a rebound against Kentucky at the Exactech Arena in the Feb. 2 game. The Gators lost 65-54 to the Wildcats. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida (17-13, 9-8) vs. No. 6 Kentucky (25-5, 14-3)

WHEN: 2 p.m. SaturdayWHERE: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky

TV: CBS

RADIO: 103.7-FM

BOTTOM LINE: No. 6 Kentucky presents a tough challenge for Florida. Florida has won one of its seven games against ranked teams this season. Kentucky is coming off an 80-76 road win against Mississippi on Tuesday.

FEARLESS FRESHMEN: Florida’s Andrew Nembhard, Keyontae Johnson and Noah Locke have combined to score 38 percent of the team’s points this season and have accounted for 37 percent of all Gators scoring over the last five games.

ACCURATE ALLEN: KeVaughn Allen has connected on 33.1 percent of the 160 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 26 over the last five games. He’s also converted 88.2 percent of his free throws this season.

STREAK STATS: Florida has won its last three road games, scoring 74.7 points and allowing 61.7 points during those contests. Kentucky has won its last three home games, scoring an average of 78.7 points while giving up 62.7.

PASSING FOR POINTS: The Wildcats have recently converted baskets via assists more often than the Gators. Kentucky has 37 assists on 66 field goals (56.1 percent) over its previous three outings while Florida has assists on 31 of 68 field goals (45.6 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Kentucky has attempted the second-most free throws among all SEC teams. The Wildcats have averaged 23.8 foul shots per game this season and 27 per game over their last three games.

END OF AN ERA: It will be the final UK game ever played in a 23,500-seat Rupp Arena.

Next season, a renovation that will install chair-back seats in place of bleachers along both sides (but not in the end zones) in Rupp’s upper deck will reduce capacity to some 20,500.

The upgrade in comfort for (most of) those who sit in Rupp’s upper arena is overdue. Yet with some 3,000 fewer fans, the “Rupp roar” that the biggest games have produced since the venue opened in 1976-77 will, presumably, not be the same.

7 COMMENTS

  1. According to those that follow and do way more research than me, we are currently still in the tourney. Never forget that lots of other teams effect how many at large teams are going to get in from the “bubble” teams. We need all the favorites to win the mid major tourneys and even the other power 5 tourneys. Go Gators

  2. Given that lsu has had to suspend their coach for violating the rules, i guess its a stretch to think there will be a forfeiture that could help our win total. we need something positive right now, a win here, a good SEC tournament, something. i know there are doubters for coach white, but hes had to go against some rule breakers, LSU is not by themselves. before we run this guy off, lets take a step back and refocus. this game is funny, things could fall together nicely after the struggles weve had.

  3. Accurate Allen? Since when is 33.1% from 3 land considered accurate for a 2 guard? The AVERAGE D-1 TEAM 3% is higher than that. In fact, 250 teams have a 3% higher than that. And 7/26 over last 5 games is 27%.

    Now, not saying its al his fault. With no inside game, teams can focus on perimeter shooters more. Especially since there is so little of the ‘drive to the basket’ gene with this team.

    • Good points and maybe a good omen, too. Before the UGA game the article told about “Clutch Claxton” and his 25.9% 3 point shooting and his 64.6% FT shooting. I commented that those numbers were anything but clutch, and of course, he proceeded to torch the Gators for 25 points, going 2-2 from 3 point range and 5-5 from the FT line. Maybe your comment will produce a similar performance from Allen. Go Gators!