Gators ranked No. 2

Florida coach Billy Donovan walks along the sideline against Ole Miss during the second half Saturday at the O'Connell Center. Florida defeated Ole Miss 78-64 to remain undefeated in the SEC.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013 at 1:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:13 p.m.

On the strength of two more impressive SEC victories, coupled with losses by Kansas and Michigan, the Florida Gators have risen to No. 2 in The Associated Press men's basketball poll, UF's highest ranking since being No. 1 in 2007.

“It just means that we're on the right track,” junior center Patric Young said. “We just need to keep working and improving and not take any games for granted. We can't lose any games right now.

“We've done a great job overall as a team being unselfish and passing the ball around and getting the job done defensively. I think we have all the characteristics to be a good national championship candidate."

The Gators (18-2 overall and 8-0 in the SEC) received seven first-place votes. Indiana is the new No. 1 after defeating Michigan on Saturday.

Young said now more than ever, the Gators have a target on their back as they prepare to head to Arkansas (13-8, 4-4 SEC) for a Tuesday game.

“Getting more recognition means that we have to be ready for everybody bringing their best shot at us,” he said. “We've just got to take care of what we can control coming in and trying to get better each and every day."

UF is also ranked No. 2 in the USA Today coaches poll, where they received six first-place votes.

The Gators host Mississippi State (7-13, 2-6) on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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