Gators Face Quick Turnaround

Florida has been in this situation before. After an important win at the Orange Bowl Classic over then No. 6 ranked Kansas State last season, Florida came home two days later to lose in overtime against Jacksonville. The problem came in handling success. The Gators dealt with the problem multiple times last season, and they will attempt to move past it when hosting Mississippi Valley State Monday.

Freshman Brad Beal is the only contributor this year that wasn't on the Florida team last season. Even the Gators that didn't see much playing time last season watched as the team went through its struggles after big wins. Florida lost three out of conference games last season, and two of them came after big wins. Besides the Jacksonville loss, the Gators also lost to UCF just days after a win at Florida State.

The challenge Florida faces on Monday is very similar to what they saw last year in the same situation.

Mississippi Valley State comes into the game with a 1-8 record after getting blown out by Arkansas, Ole Miss and North Carolina. The Delta Devils are averaging 66.8 points on the season while giving up 83.6 points.

Florida comes into Monday night's matchup averaging 86.8 points per game, coming in as the third highest in the country. The Delta Devils are 333rd out of 338 teams in the country in field goal percentage allowed at 49.9%. The Gators are 41st in the country in field goal percentage at 47.7%.

The three-point shots have been falling for Florida early in the season, as the team is shooting 39.8% from behind the three-point line. That shouldn't change much on Monday night, as Mississippi Valley State is allowing opponents to shoot 45.2% from behind the three-point line.

The Gators should dominate most matchups, but center Patric Young should get a test. Mississippi Valley State's leading scorer is 6-8 center Paul Crosby, averaging 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds. Young has played well on offense and defense in recent games, as he leads the games with 7.5 rebounds a game. His size and strength in the paint has produced on both ends of the floor, and solid defense would go a long way to helping the Gators on Monday.

Florida has a significant size advantage at most positions.

On paper, this is a game Florida should dominate. It will come down to whether or not they've learned their lesson from last season. It took the 2010-11 Gators half of a season to learn how to handle winning games, and they put it together to make a run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

In a game that isn't intriguing on paper, Monday's matchup could provide some answers for the future of this year's Florida team.

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