11 straight against Auburn won't come easy

TAMPA -- Florida faces a challenging test in their second day at the SEC tournament. They'll go against a rested Auburn squad that's playing its best basketball in years, and they'll do it the day after winning a game against Arkansas that saw three starters on the court for at least thirty minutes.

Auburn earned the No. 2 seed from the West division with an impressive closing run that saw them take eight of their final nine games, including a season ending home victory against conference champion LSU. The Tigers are an undersized team that features three double figure scorers in guards DeWayne Reed and Tay Waller and forward Korvotney Barber.

There are some factors in the Gators favor, including a crowd that's likely to be extremely pro-UF. Auburn was so hard up to sell tickets to the conference tournament that the school cut its price from the league's price of $300 for a full set of tickets to the event down to just $99. History is on the Gators side as well, with Billy Donovan's teams having won their last 10 in a row against the Tigers including a 68-65 win in Auburn this season.

That win against Auburn was January 14, which seems like ancient history considering the way they're playing now. Despite both teams liking to shoot the three-pointer, neither did a good job of it that night. Florida's 5-of-23 performance was actually the better of the two teams, as Auburn hit 5-of-27 from behind the arc. Donovan doesn't feel like that evening's outcome will tell much about how tonight's game will be played.

"I think you can probably take their first five or six games in the league and kind of probably throw them away right now. They're playing great basketball right now, and we've got a lot we've got to get prepared for with a quick turnaround," said Donovan.

With it having been so long since the Gators defeated the Tigers, Florida's Walter Hodge definitely feels like a refresher course is in order.

"We just have to go back, watch film and make sure we do the right things on the defensive end and a better job on the glass," said Hodge.

Dan Werner's memory of the game was a little fresher, and he says it didn't come easily.

"It was a battle. Some guys on our team stepped up and hit big shots, and we were fortunate to come out of there with a win. It's definitely going to be a big test for us, and we're up to the challenge."


Fightin Gators Top Stories