The game should provide a bit of a barometer for the Gators in comparison with one SEC team since Georgia Southern dropped a 90-66 decision to South Carolina on Monday. The contest was actually a two-point game (38-36) with 90 seconds left in the first half before Carolina scored the final five points of that period and the first 16 points after intermission to turn the game into a blowout. Ben Drayton contributed 15 points off the bench to lead the Eagles while Georgia Southern's top player, Willie Powers scored 14 with four assists and the same number of steals.
Powers is from PK Yonge School in Gainesville and is coming back from a season ending knee injury a year ago. He played just 11 games last year and his absence was a big factor in the Eagles' 8-22 season which led to the dismissal of Coach Jeff Price and hiring of Charlton Young.
The Eagles also have a couple of decent front court players in Cameron Baskerville (9/10) and Rory Spencer (6/6) who played reasonably well against South Carolina. Georgia Southern shot 29 threes against Carolina, making just eight of them. Look for them to do more of the same in the O'Dome.
The Gators will be looking to build on a 74-46 opening day win over Stetson that saw Florida continue the strong defensive effort it showed in its two exhibition games. The Gators held the Hatters to 29 percent from the field, including a dismal 2-for-17 from three point range. The Gators also blocked five shots, including three by junior center Vernon Macklin.
Offensively the Gators had much better balance in the Stetson game with four players in double figures led by Chandler Parsons with 14 and Macklin with 13. Kenny Boynton and Alex Tyus added 12 points each with Tyus adding 13 rebounds for a double-double.
One thing Florida will definitely try to improve on is its poor 11/18 assist turnover ratio. Macklin (1/3), Parsons (1/5) and Erik Murphy (1/3) were the prime culprits on Sunday.
Florida's busy early season schedule will continue with a Friday home game against Troy followed by three games next week.
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