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February 1, 2014

Gator Gameday: Florida vs. Texas A&M

GAME DAY LINKS: Gators aim to avoid SEC pitfalls | UF-TAMU Game Day Thread

Texas A&M at No. 3 Florida
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 - 4:00 p.m. EST
TV: SEC TV / RADIO: Gator IMG Sports Radio Network, Sirius 113/XM 199
Texas A&M Aggies (12-8, 3-4 Southeastern Conference)
Streak: Lost 4
Last Game: Lost to South Carolina 80-52
G Alex Caruso (leads the SEC in assists with 93) So. 6-5 183
G Shawn Smith (will be his fourth consecutive start, averaging 8.7 PPG in last three games) RS Fr. 6-4/td> 192
F Jamal Jones (made seven 3s against Houston earlier this season) Jr. 6-8 197
F Antwan Space (transferred to TAMU from Florida State) Sr. 6-8 224
F Kourtney Robinson (has three double-doubles on the season and leads Aggies in rebounding) Jr. 6-9 244

Nebraska CornhuskersFlorida Gators (18-2, 7-0 SEC)
Streak: Won 12
Last Game: Defeated Mississippi State 62-51
G Scottie Wilbekin (averaging 3.7 assists per game) Sr. 6-2 176
G Michael Frazier II (started 0 for 6 before making his last three 3-point attempts against MSU) So. 6-4 199
F Casey Prather (reached double figures in each of the 18 games he has played this season) Sr. 6-6 212
F Will Yeguete (the only Gator to have started every game this season) Sr. 6-8 230
C Patric Young (recorded 19 blocks in his last 20 games) Sr. 6-9 240

Get the defense going early

The first -- and one of the last -- things you really need to know about Texas A&M is the Aggies are absolutely putrid offensively. They average 66.8 points per game, last in the SEC and a number that is good for No. 283 nationally. They shoot 43.8 percent form the field and 32 percent from 3-point range. Force them to play a little worse than their averages with defensive pressure in the first half and this could get out of hand quickly.
Feed Pat Young

Today is the big fella's 22nd birthday and what better way to celebrate it than with a big game? The opportunity is certainly there. Texas A&M has three starters 6-foot-8 or taller but none of them should be much of a defensive match for Young if he is on his game.
Stay healthy

The Aggies were a one-man show in 2012-2013 and that one man -- Elston Turner Jr. -- is no longer in College Station. Texas A&M hasn't exactly found anyone to take his place and the result has been a tough season that currently is on a four-game skid. This game shouldn't be much of a challenge for the Gators but it is another 40 minutes they have to navigate through.

Donovan on Texas A&M:

"They have very good personnel. This is a team, that, this league is difficult and challenging. You go on the road to play, it's very difficult. To their credit, they got a big win at Tennessee. They beat Arkansas at home. And they've had some really good, quality wins throughout the course of the season. So this has been my opinion, they're a very good, talented basketball team."
Young on his mentality inside:

"It's been on my mind just to play within myself and be aggressive when I get the ball in the paint. My coaches and teammates are always telling me to go when I get the ball. I just try to go up there and take a good rep."

Florida 74-48: If you're one to pay attention to betting lines, the Gators are an 18-point favorite against the Aggies. In the friendly confines of a sold-out O'Connell Center, that may be a bit generous to Texas A&M. Florida is opening a homestand with one of the coldest teams in the SEC at the moment. The SEC's worst offense and best defense are on an ugly collision course.

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