Florida A&M (0-7) at (13) Florida (6-0)
Tuesday, December 1st, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stephen C. O'Connell Center (12,000) -- Gainesville, Florida. Television: FSN. Home Record: Florida A&M 0-0, Florida 4-0. Away Record: Florida A&M 0-5, Florida 0-0. Neutral Record: Florida A&M 0-2. Florida 2-0. Conference Record: Florida A&M 0-0, Florida 0-0. Series Record: Florida leads, 10-0.
GAME NOTES: The Florida Gators put their flawless record and brand new national ranking on the line this evening, as they welcome the Florida A&M Rattlers to Gainesville for a non-conference showdown at the O'Connell Center.
The Gators have burst out of the gates with six straight victories to start the season, including capturing the Legends Classic title in Atlantic City this past week, with wins over Michigan State (77-74) and Rutgers (73-58).
While the Gators have yet to lose this season, the Rattlers have yet to win. The team has lost all seven games it has played in this year, including an embarrassing 90-59 whipping at the hands of UAB this past weekend.
These two team has met on 10 prior occasions, with Florida winning all 10 meetings, including wins in each of the last seven seasons.
The Rattlers struggled to produce points in Birmingham last time out, as the team shot a pedestrian .444 from the field in putting up 59 points. Guard Christopher Walker led the way for Florida A&M with 12 points and eight rebounds. Amin Stevens checked in with 11 points and Dale Hughes chipped in with 10, but there wasn't much support after that. A lack of offense (61.1 ppg) and shoddy defense (allowing 86.4 ppg) has led to the Rattlers' fruitless season thus far. The team s shooting an anemic .371 from the field and the poor shooting has extended beyond the arc (.283) as well as the free-throw line (.661). The result is not a single player on the roster averaging double figures. Brandon Bryant is the closest at 9.3 ppg. Walker and Yannick Crowder are next with 9.0 and 8.7 ppg, respectively. In addition to the lack of offense, Florida A&M is turning the ball over nearly 20 times per game (19.7) and getting outrebounded by more than seven boards.
The Gators have successfully navigated their way through their schedule thus far with stellar defensive play. Florida is limiting the opposition to a mere 56.2 ppg, holding them under 40 percent shooting overall (.374) and a minuscule .182 from behind the arc. Offensively, the team has plenty of scoring depth, with four players averaging double figures. Just a freshman, Kenny Boynton leads the charge with 15.8 ppg. He is followed by Chandler Parson's who comes off the bench to add 12.2 ppg. Erving Walker (11.0 ppg) and Vernon Macklin (10.0 ppg) add to the scoring punch. Boynton led the way for Florida in the championship game of the Legends Classic with 19 points. Macklin followed with 14, while Walker chimed in with 11, en route to being named the tournament MVP. Florida shot a blistering .525 from the floor against Rutgers, while holding the Scarlet Knights to a mere .411 performance.
Florida is clearly the pick here. The team has an exciting young nucleus and should win this one with ease.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 88, Florida A&M 51
12/01 11:48:52 ET
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