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March 20, 2014

Gator Gameday: Florida vs. Albany



GAME DAY LINKS: Notebook: Kasey Hill questionable | UF-UA Game Day Thread

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 16 Albany
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 4:10 p.m. EST
TV: TBS / RADIO: Gator IMG Sports Radio Network, Sirius 93/XM 192
Albany Great Danes (19-14)
Streak: Won 4
Last Game: Defeated No. 16 Mount St. Mary's 71-64
PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. NAME (STATS) YR. HT. WT.
G DJ Evans (led the way with 22 points in first-round victory) Sr. 5-9 175
G Peter Hooley (averaging a team-high 15.3 PPG this season) So. 6-4 200
F Sam Rowley (team-leader in rebounds had 13 against Mount St. Mary's) Jr. 6-6 230
F Gary Johnson (his 44 blocks on the year leads the Great Danes) Sr. 6-6 205
C John Puk (cousin A.J. pitches and plays first base for Florida's baseball team) Sr. 6-10 235

Nebraska CornhuskersFlorida Gators (32-2)
Streak: Won 26
Last Game: Defeated Kentucky 61-60
PROBABLE STARTERS
POS. NAME (STATS) YR. HT. WT.
G Scottie Wilbekin (First Gator to ever win SEC POY and SEC Tournament MVP) Sr. 6-2 176
G Michael Frazier II (went 10 for 15 from 3-point range in SEC Tournament) So. 6-4 199
F Casey Prather (scored 29 in four games at last year's NCAA Tournament) Sr. 6-6 212
F Will Yeguete (grabbed seven rebounds in Sunday's defeat of Kentucky) Sr. 6-8 230
C Patric Young (has scored double figures in three of his last four games) Sr. 6-9 240




Run, run, run
1

Not only is Florida a major talent mismatch for Albany, but the Gators are also the kind of team schematically that can run the Great Danes into the ground. Albany is a team that prefers a slower pace of play, working the ball inside at a methodical rate. That means this is the kind of game where Florida pushes the ball constantly, running rapidly up and down the floor and utilizing the press to stifle possessions before they make it to half court. One factor that could hamper this plan: if Kasey Hill (turf toe) is unable to play.
Force outside shots
2

The Great Danes aren't exactly comfortable from beyond the arc. They have made 159 shots from 3-point range all season. Florida has made 231. Given the Gators' physical superiority inside, it shouldn't be overly difficult nullify what Albany has in the front court and force any uncontested shots to come from the perimeter. Albany has taken 21.3 percent of its shots from outside the arc. If that number grows substantially today, it helps Florida win big.
Feed Casey Prather
1

There's a reason Prather was such a star when the Gators were running through a non-conference schedule but has simmered down a bit since. Simply put, Prather is a freak athlete; the best athlete in Florida's arsenal. But he is not overly versatile and therefore he can be contained by good teams because of his limited ability to create. That said, it is that same skillset that makes him almost unstoppable in games like these where the opposition is clearly a lesser team. Prather is bound for a 20-point day.

Billy Donovan on the popular "16 vs. 1" narrative:

"They've earned the right to play the game. They've had a heck of a year. They've gone into their conference tournament and they had to win a championship game on the road. I think that says a lot about their kids' character. ... For our basketball team, as I said earlier, it has nothing to do for us about seeding or anything else. The only thing that matters is how well do we prepare to get ready to play tomorrow afternoon and how well do we play in between the lines."
Wilbekin on a final trip to the tournament:

"This being our last time, it feels a little bit different, but once we get into all of this, like media and practice, being at the hotel, it kind of feels the same, but there is that in the back of my mind that this is the last go‑around. "



Florida 82-50: The Gators are heavy favorites and rightfully so. They enter this game having not lost in 109 days, a stretch during which they have disposed of a bunch of teams better than Albany. Most will look at this game only to make sure Florida wins by a comfortable margin and stays healthy. There are tough games ahead, bot today will not be one of them.




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