Gators not searching for revenge

No. 5 Florida doesn't need to be warned about Arkansas. The Gators have seen it for themselves. Just under three weeks ago, the Razorbacks got hot from the field as the Gators allowed a season-high 80 points in Fayetteville, giving Florida its first Southeastern Conference loss. But Saturday night isn't about revenge. It's about staying ahead in the SEC standings.

"It's not like if we all of the sudden win the game that we get the Fayetteville game back," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said with a laugh. "It doesn't work like that. That game is a loss. This is the next most important thing. I have never been a big believer in payback. I don't know what that means. What do you get back?

"This is the next game that is in front of us. I don't see the point out of payback."

That doesn't mean there isn't a drive to win the game. The Gators know what is still at stake in conference play. Florida comes into the game with an 11-2 record in conference games, one ahead of Alabama's 10-3 record. Kentucky is 9-4, one game ahead of Arkansas, Missouri and Ole Miss.

With five games left on the conference schedule, every one is important for Florida. With Alabama coming to town on March 2, keeping a one-game separation is important.

"We have a very strong desire to beat them," Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin said of Arkansas. "We're ahead in the SEC, we got to keep winning to stay ahead. Obviously we're going to be ready for them because they beat us pretty good in Arkansas."

The conference standings should be enough to keep Florida from overlooking the Razorbacks. If not, the first matchup in Fayetteville will help. Arkansas shot 49.1% from the field and 44.4% from behind the three-point line, both well above the average the Gators allow.

B.J. Young is leading the Razorbacks with 16.5 points, and he led them on that night with 13. The sophomore guard can penetrate into the paint and create offense from there.

"I've got to be more locked in," said Wilbekin, who will likely guard Young. "We all have to be more locked in as a team, because I don't think we were playing defense to our potential that game. We're going to be ready. We're going to be ready to play with passion and defend the right way and play hard.

"He loves to drive and get all the way to the basket. He uses his spin move a lot."

Junior forward Marshawn Powell is averaging 15.2 points and 5.4 rebounds this season and can be a creative scorer in the post. He has always been a favorite of Donovan, who raves about Powell every time the Gators have been preparing for the Razorbacks in the last three years.

"He's a really good player," Donovan said. "He's one of my favorite players in the league. He's a guy that can really post up. He's shooting the threes and makes a high percentage of those. He can put it on the floor. He does a lot of things. I think he's one of those forwards in the league that is really a complete player. He can do a little bit of everything.

"A guy like him when you watch him play, wherever he catches the ball on the floor, he's a scoring threat. You can't say that for a lot of great scorers. But he's one of those scorers where put the ball anywhere whether it's in the post, the elbow, the three-point line, off the dribble — he can go create and make things happens. He's very talented."

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