Gators Face Troy in Game Trey

With two wins in the bank the Gator Basketball Team plays its third game in six days tonight when they host Troy in the O'Connell Center. Troy is definitely a step up competition wise with a four starters back from a team that won 19 games last year and posted a 14-4 record in the Sun Belt Conference.

Troy might be the most experienced team the Gators will face this season with five seniors in the starting lineup.

Troy is an up-tempo team completely different from Stetson (46) and Georgia Southern (49) which both failed to score 50 points against Florida's improved defense. The Trojans topped the 100-point mark in its first two games in posting wins over Piedmont (106-50) and William Carey (104-88).

The key for Florida might be the match up in the back court where Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton face Brandon Hazzard (24) and Michael Vogler (18) who combined for over 40 points a game. Hazzard was first team All-Sun Belt last year while Vogler is a Florida kid from Lynn Haven by way of Chipola College who will be extra motivated to play well.

In the front court the Gators have to deal with a pair of transfers from SEC schools. Yamene Coleman is a 6-9 center from Alabama who graduated and is taking advantage of the NCAA rule that lets you transfer and play immediately if you enter grad school. Coleman averaged 3.7 points for the Crimson Tide last year. The other player with SEC roots is 6-4 swingman Richard Delk who spent two seasons at Mississippi State. Delk was the Sun Belt newcomer of the year last season averaging almost 14 points and five rebounds a night.


The Gators head into this game trying to find their collective shooting stroke. After two games Florida has made just three of 29 shots from behind the three-point line. The back court of Walker (0-6) and Boynton (1-10) has been particularly inept from long range. Chandler Parsons (2-6) has been the best outside shooter for the Gators while Dan Werner (0-4) and Ray Shipman (0-3) have misfired every time.

While the Gators have struggled from long range, the team has shot the ball extremely well (.546) inside the arc. Leading the way there is the front court of Vernon Macklin (.722) and Alex Tyus (.667).

Florida is also trying to improve its ball handling this evening. Through two games the Gators are minus-10 in the assist/turnover differential. That's despite Walker (plus-six) performing well in this area.

On the positive side it appears the Gators will be a much better shot blocking team this season. The Gators blocked five shots opening day and swatted away six more against Georgia Southern. Florida blocked five or more shots only three times in 36 games last season and finished the year averaging fewer than three rejections a night.

After Troy, Florida faces its toughest week of the pre-conference slate with a Tuesday home game with Florida State and then a battle with No. 2 Michigan State in Atlantic City on Friday.

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