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December 10, 2013

Hoops Gator Gameday: Florida vs. Kansas

GAME DAY LINKS: Notebook: UF near full strength for KU | UF-KU Game Day Thread

No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks

At No. 19 Florida Gators
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: ESPN / RADIO: Gator IMG Sports Radio Network, Sirius/XM 91

Kansas Jayhawks (6-2, 0-0 Big 12)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to No. 21 Colorado 75-72
G Frank Mason (expected to make his third start of the season) Fr. 5-11 185
G Wayne Selden Jr. (one of three McDonald's All Americans in KU starting five) Fr. 6-5 230
G Andrew Wiggins (averaging 15.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG) Fr. 6-8 200
F Tarik Black (lone senior in Kansas starting lineup, plays limited role) Sr. 6-9 260
F Perry Ellis (dominant inside, averaging 14.5 PPG and 6.8 RPG) So. 6-8 225

Nebraska CornhuskersFlorida Gators (6-2, 0-0 SEC)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to No. 9 Connecticut 65-64
G Scottie Wilbekin (could play alongside freshman Kasey Hill for first time) Sr. 6-2 176
G Michael Frazier II (3-point specialist and only non-senior in UF starting five) So. 6-4 199
F Casey Prather (leads Gators with 19.1 PPG) Sr. 6-6 212
F Will Yeguete (lackluster start to season after knee surgery recovery) Sr. 6-8 230
C Patric Young (Averaging 10.3 PPG and 5.3 RPG) Sr. 6-9 240

Play tough inside

Florida's weakness all season has been perimeter defense. The good news is that might not matter too much tonight. Kansas is shooting just 29.8 percent from beyond the arc despite attempting 10 more 3-pointers than the Gators. The Jayhawks do their damage inside with two talented 6-8 players in Wiggins and Ellis. How Florida defends them will tell how the game goes.
Feed Prather the ball

When the Gators' offense is clicking best this season, it has been a continuous dose of Prather's athleticism and ability to make plays. With their length and physicality, the Jayhawks will provide Prather his biggest challenge of the season. To this point, he has risen to the occasion whenever outsiders have predicted his magic might finally hit a wall. He appears to be "for real" this season.
Embrace the moment

Kansas is more talented than Florida. The Jayhawks are loaded with young talent that will eventually play in the NBA. That can't be said for the Gators, though this is the kind of night where a four-senior starting lineup could play into their favor. Kansas' young stars haven't seen an atmosphere like the one that will fill the O'Connell Center Tuesday night and have lost their only true road game of the year.

Billy Donovan talks Andrew Wiggins:

"He'll be in the NBA next year. He's extremely explosive and athletic. He's smart. He lets the game come to him. I think sometimes when you haven't seen him play, people hear about him and when they go watch him play they're expecting 50 points, 25 rebounds, 10 assists and all sorts of crazy dunks, but he's a really good basketball player. That's the thing I respect about him is he seems to be a very good team guy. He seems to play very consistent and he seems to play very well with his team."
Patric Young on playing a talented frontcourt:

"I have to go in with the mindset of being a senior, that I can go in there and physically dominate, run the floor, rebound, not allow those guys to get what they want. As a team, we need to make sure we take care of the ball because they get so many points in transition and inside the paint. I feel like a lot of that is going to be on me to hold them out of the paint."

Florida 68-62: Experienced teams tend to have the upper-hand in marquee early-season matchups such as this. Expect the Gators to be able to take advantage of the Jayhawks' mistakes and play smart enough basketball with two point guards available to get a resume-building win. A sellout is expected at the O'Dome tonight, and the environment could be the difference in the game with a young team on the opposing bench.

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