Florida preparing for unique test

The Gators didn't see an offensive approach this season similar to the one they'll see on Thursday night. UCLA brings height and shooting at all five positions, and Florida coach Billy Donovan knows it will be a different look than the ones his team prepared for earlier this season. The Bruins have one of the most explosive lineups in the country.

The Bruins are averaging 82 points per game this season, led by 17.4 points from Jordan Adams and 14.7 points from Kyle Anderson. UCLA comes into Thursday's game on a five-game winning streak, including a win over No. 1 seed Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The uniqueness comes from the size, especially at point guard. The smallest player in UCLA's lineup is 6-4 guard Norman Powell, and 6-9 Kyle Anderson, who Florida recruited heavily when he came out of high school, serves as the point guard.

Even with Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin's defensive prowess, he gives up seven inches to Anderson if the two are matched up on each other.

"It's a unique team, probably unlike any team we've played this year," Billy Donovan said. "They're really, really fast, explosive in transition, great scoring ability from all five spots. A uniqueness about them because one of their leading rebounders is Kyle Anderson. It's a little bit unique for a point guard to get as many rebounds as he does and starts the break, and that's where they're really, really great is in transition. They also do a really good job with their half court offense.

"This is maybe the most explosive offensive team we've faced and maybe the most unique offensive team we've faced this year."

Anderson's size at the point guard position isn't the only issue. He has great feel for the game and truly has a point guard skillset, able to set up offense for other players on the UCLA roster. His height also helps him see over the defense, creating the challenge of the UCLA transition offense.

Combined with Adams' natural scoring ability and the Wear twins in the paint, it's a talented roster that could give Florida its biggest challenge in a while. Even bench piece Zach LaVine has been projected by some NBA Draft websites as a lottery pick if he elects to leave after this season.

"They're a tremendous running team and they're a tremendous passing team," Donovan said. "I think if you look at their assists, they average about 17 assists on the year. That's phenomenal. They get a lot of steals as well, defensively, and when they get steals and they get turnovers and they get out on the break, they're really playing to their identity and who they are."

The film has the attention of the Florida players.

"I think they are a really offensive-minded team," Florida forward Will Yeguete said. "They like to push the ball and they try to get good buckets. They also shoot the ball really well. Adams is a really good guard, a really good player. I think they're going to be a really good offensive team, so it's going to be a really big challenge for us. We're going to have to guard them for the whole possession."

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