Florida takes on the high flying Aggies

The Gators continue their tough stretch of conference games and this time on the road. The 14th ranked Texas A&M Aggies will host Florida Tuesday night in a game featuring one of the best offenses in the league vs, the best scoring defense. The Gators will have to play their best to win.

Florida Gators (10-5, 1-1) vs #14 Texas A&M Aggies (13-2, 3-0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016; 7 p.m.

College Station, Texas; Reed Arena

TV: SEC Network


The problem with the Aggies is that there aren’t just one or two guys to shut down. They are a well-balanced team and any player on the court can beat you at any time.

“This is a pretty challenging week for us as we head to Texas A&M, a team playing as well as anyone in our league,” Florida head coach Mike White told the media on Monday. “It’s a team that really defends and is balanced scoring. They have very talented wings that can go get it. They have a really good backcourt that make really good decisions and are really solid with turnover ratio. The freshman big kid has been great overall with is shooting percentage. They have depth and great experience. They start four senior and three fifth year seniors.”

It is a senior laden hardnosed team with a couple of guards that love to distribute the ball. Senior forward Jalen Jones leads the team in scoring with 16.8 points a game with senior guard Danuel House right behind him at 15.7.  Senior guards Anthony Collins and Alex Caruso average 4.9 and 5.1 assists respectively.

“I just think they are so balanced, there are so many challenges,” White said. “You will have to guard isolations with House and Jones, guard pick and rolls with two guards that can both shoot it and make really good decision. You have to guard in the post against a freshman big kid that is shooting almost 70% from the field, which is almost unheard of from a freshman. They have guys off the bench that can score. They are good in transition offense, they take good shots. You have to be on it in all areas. There isn’t one thing you can focus on. They shoot the three, they throw the post, they can drive it, and they get on the offensive glass. They are talented and are very, very experienced and they have good role definition, so that makes for a good offensive team.

It is quite a different task for Florida coming off the game with LSU and ben Simmons. While LSU can certainly score from different areas, they rely a great deal on Simmons to handle the ball and make plays shooting or distributing it. The Aggies can get you from anywhere. Even though Jalen Jones is the top scorer, it is just a different team plan.

“I don’t think that Texas A&M relies as heavily upon him,” White said capering Jones to Simmons. “I think they are more balanced. They are more evenly distributed amongst their rotation guys, especially their starting five. Their starting five are very, very good. Jalen Jones with Danuel House, with two senior guards who collectively are arguably one of the best back courts in the conference if not the country in terms of their decision making, shooting percentages, turnover ratio, all of those types of things.

“Then (they have) a freshman who is shooting almost 70% from the field offensively. They have great role definition. They have passers, play makers, they have the two wings in Jones and House at the 3-4 who get their own shot, get to the offensive glass, make threes get to the foul line, they can do it all and low post score as well. They are like LSU, just a little different.”

The Aggies are tied for fourth in the league scoring 80.1 points per game. The Gators will counter with the league’s leading scoring defense, giving up just 63.4 points a game. Both teams are high in turnover margin with the Gators slightly ahead in that area.

If Florida shows up defensively, which they usually do, the big concern will still be on the offensive end. The Gators are 11th in the league in scoring offense at 72.8 points per game, while the Aggies are 3rd in scoring defense giving up just 65.9 points per contest.

Again, the gators will have to play their best to win Tuesday night.



Florida Projected Starters

Ht. / Wt.



F Justin Leon (JR)

6-8, 196



F Dorian Finney-Smith (SR)

6-8, 220



C John Egbunu (SO)

6-11, 255



G KeVaughn Allen (FR)

6-2, 183



G Chris Chiozza (SO)

6-0, 175




LSU Projected Starters




G Danuel House (SR)

6-7, 212



F Jalen Jones (SR)

6-7, 212



C Tyler Davis (FR)

6-10, 264



G Anthony Collins (SR)

6-1, 175



G Alex Caruso (SR)

6-5, 186



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