Illness may keep UF’s Chiozza on sidelines

7
2208
Florida's Chris Chiozza (11) heads to the basket as Missouri's Jordan Geist (15) defends during the first half Saturday in Columbia, Mo. Chiozza will be a game-time decision Wednesday because of an illness. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

After providing another finish to remember in Florida’s 77-75 win over Missouri on Saturday, senior point guard Chris Chiozza is now sidelined with an illness.

Chiozza tested positive for strep throat Monday. The 6-footer from Memphis will sit out UF’s next two practices and is questionable for UF’s next game Wednesday at home against Mississippi State (7 p.m. SEC Network).

Chiozza has scored in double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 13.1 points and 5.8 assists per game. Against Missouri, Chiozza scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including a dramatic steal and layup in the closing seconds to lift UF to another big conference road win.

“He’s drawn more fouls, he’s finishing a little better in the paint,” Florida coach Mike White said. “He’s shooting the ball with more confidence. He’s been in the gym more this year. He’s made a concerted effort to stay after most practices and get shots up. He’s just playing with more confidence. He’s always had the ability to hit a really big one. I like to continue to see him be aggressive.”

If Chiozza can’t play Wednesday, freshman guard Mike Okauru and junior guard KeVaughn Allen would split time at point guard against Mississippi State. Okauru had five points and two assists off the bench Saturday against Missouri, while Allen has posted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 35 to 11 on the season.

In an interview with NCAA.com’s Andy Katz later Monday afternoon, Chiozza said he expected to play against Mississippi State.

‘I’m alright, I could be better, but I could be worse, too. I feel a lot better than I did (Sunday) night, so I’m happy to be feeling better and excited for Wednesday,” Chiozza said. “I’m not missing no games.”

 

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hope Cheese gets well soon. Basketball is a long haul, this one game won’t make or break the season. Sit him out and give Okauru the entire game to run the show. Great experience for down the road when Cheese may have foul trouble. Go Gators!!

  2. Kevaughn has a good assist to turnover ratio. You can’t put the whole point guard responsibilities on Okaura. He’s not used to that many minutes. If Chiozza can’t go (which he shouldn’t with strep throat) this would be great experience for later like Sparky said. I think Chiozza has been playing too many minutes. He’s such a tough player though.

  3. Get better soon, Chris! But please don’t push yourself too hard, turning your strep turn into mono. It happens! And hopefully, we’ll see you back soon, guiding the Gators… ultimately into March Madness!
    Go Gators! Beat M.S.U.!

  4. Get better soon, Chris! But please don’t push yourself too hard, turning your strep turn into mono. It happens! And hopefully, we’ll see you back soon, guiding the Gators… ultimately into March Madness!
    Go Gators! Beat M.S.U.!