Gameday - UF at Auburn


Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 5:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 5:13 p.m.

Wednesday's game: Florida (14-2, 1-0 SEC) at Auburn (10-5, 0-1 SEC)

Tipoff: 8 p.m. ET

Site: Beard-Eaves Coliseum, Auburn, Ala.

Local radio: AM-850

Regional TV: FSN-Florida

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. Getting Tyus involved

Florida center Alex Tyus has been held to just 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game over his last three games. Despite playing an undersized Ole Miss front line, Tyus grabbed just four rebounds Saturday night against the Rebels. "Alex has got to find a way to get rebounds and be much more aggressive when he's posting up," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. Tyus has another favorable physical matchup tonight against Auburn's 6-foot-7 Korvotney Barber.

2. The 3-point line

Auburn is a team capable of spreading the floor with as many as four or five 3-point shooters on the floor at the same time. Junior guard Tay Waller, a transfer from Okaloosa-Walton Community College, ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in 3-pointers made per game at 2.8. Florida is last in the league in 3-point field goal defense, giving up 35.3 percent beyond the arc. "We don't want to give them open, uncontested threes because they really thrive on that," Donovan said.

3. Rebounding

Florida was horrendous on the boards in its SEC opener, getting outrebounded by 24 in a 78-68 win against Ole Miss. The Gators face another undersized team tonight, but Auburn coach Jeff Lebo always tends to get his teams to rebound well despite a lack of size. Florida will need to box out better and contain Auburn's penetration off the dribble in order to stay in good rebounding position.

4. Pressing concerns

Donovan has never been a fan of pressing on the road but may need to alter that philosophy to try to help Florida generate some easy baskets. Auburn turns the ball over 15.3 times per game but won't get rattled easily with senior point guard Quantez Robertson bringing the ball upcourt. The Tigers start three guards and should have enough ballhandlers on the floor to break pressure. Still, Florida may try to press early to see how effective it can be in forcing turnovers.

5. The free-throw line

Auburn is the SEC's worst free-throw shooting team, making just 59.9-percent from the line. Florida isn't much better, ranking eighth in the league at 68.2 percent. Florida made clutch free throws down the stretch against Ole Miss and may need to do so again in its first league road game of the season.

FLORIDA

(10-0 home, 0-1 away, 4-1 neutral)

33 Nick Calathes

Position: Guard

Year: Sophomore

Height/weight: 6-6/194

Hometown/Last school: Casselberry/Lake Howell

Stats: 17.1 ppg, 6.8 apg

15 Walter Hodge

Position: Guard

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-0/170

Hometown/Last school: Guyanabo, P.R./Florida Air Academy

Stats: 8.2 ppg, 2.3 apg

25 Chandler Parsons

Position: Forward

Year: Sophomore

Height/weight: 6-9/213

Hometown/Last school: Casselberry/Lake Howell

Stats: 8.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg

21 Dan Werner

Position: Forward

Year: Junior

Height/weight: 6-8/230

Hometown/Last school: Middletown, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy

Stats: 9.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

23 Alex Tyus

Position: Center

Year: Sophomore

Height/weight: 6-8/220

Hometown/Last school: St. Louis, Mo./Harmony Community

Stats: 12.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Florida bench

No. Name, Pos. Yr. HT/WT

1 Eloy Vargras F Fr. 6-10/215 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

3 Ray Shipman G Fr. 6-5/212 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg

4 Kyle McClanahan G Fr. 6-1/185 0.8 ppg, 0.4 rpg

11 Erving Walker G Fr. 5-8/161 8.7 ppg, 2.6 apg

24 Allan Chaney F Fr. 6-8/231 4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg

30 Kenny Kadji C Fr. 6-10/245 4.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg

Florida coach

Billy Donovan (299-117 in 13 seasons at Florida, 334-137 in 15 seasons overall)

AUBURN

(9-1 home, 1-2 road, 0-2 neutral)

23 Quantez Robertson

Position: Guard

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-3/200

Hometown/Last school: Cincinnati, Ohio/Laurinburg Institute

Stats: 7.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg

24 Tay Waller

Position: Guard

Year: Junior

Height/weight: 6-2/180

Hometown/Last school: Manchester, Ga./Okaloosa-Walton C.C.

Stats: 12.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg

12 DeWayne Reed

Position: Guard

Year: Junior

Height/weight: 6-1/175

Hometown/Last school: Houston, Texas/Wheatley

Stats: 6.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg

4 Lucas Hargrove

Position: Forward

Year: Junior

Height/weight: 6-6/205

Hometown/Last school: Pontiac, S.C./Richland Northeast

Stats: 8.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg

1 Korvotney Barber

Position: Forward

Year: Senior

Height/weight: 6-7/225

Hometown/Last school: Manchester, Ga./Manchester

Stats: 12.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg

Auburn bench

No. Name, Pos. Yr. HT/WT

10 Larry Williams G So. 6-2/160 0.4 ppg. 0.1 rpg

20 Frankie Sullivan G Fr. 6-1/185 7.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg

21 Rasheem Barrett G Sr. 6-5/220 5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg

25 Jake Drum F Fr. 6-5/215 1.2 ppg, 0.5 rpg

30 Brendon Knox C Jr. 6-10/220 2.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg

34 Johnnie Lett F Jr. 6-8/210 3.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg

42 Francis Aihe F Jr. 6-9/205 0.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg

Auburn coach

Jeff Lebo (67-69 in five seasons at Auburn, 181-132 in 11 seasons overall)

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

Florida Category Auburn

79.5 Points Per Game 71.2

63.4 Opp points per game 60.3

.498 Field goal pct. .437

.428 Opp field goal pct. .383

.357 3-point FG pct. .319

.352 Opp 3-point FG pct. .339

.682 Free throw pct. .599

+1.5 Rebound margin +2.3

7.6 3-pointers per game 7.3

6.4 Opp 3-pointers per game 7.1

3.0 Blocks per game 3.4

9.7 Steals per game 10.4

18.4 Assists per game 14.5

12.4 Turnovers per game 15.3

SEC SCHEDULE

Wednesday's Games

Florida at Auburn (FSN), 8 p.m.

South Carolina at LSU (CST), 8 p.m.

Alabama at Mississippi State, 8 p.m.

Georgia at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.

Arkansas at Ole Miss, 8 p.m.

Saturday's Games

Alabama at Auburn, 2 p.m.

Arkansas at Florida (Fox), 2 p.m.

LSU at Ole Miss (Fox), 4 p.m.

South Carolina at Tennessee (FSN), 6 p.m.

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (FSN), 8 p.m.

Sunday's Game

Kentucky at Georgia (Ch. 19), noon

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