Ole Miss returns to the Pavilion on Saturday as they play host to the Florida Gators in front of a national audience. Tip-off is set for noon on CBS.
Ole Miss (9-7, 2-2 SEC) looks to rebound after the 85-70 setback suffered on the Plains against No. 22 Auburn on Tuesday night. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak against the Tigers. Sophomore BreeinTyree tied his career-high with 24 points versus Auburn.
Coach Andy Kennedy’s squad has seen high production at the net by underclassmen, as freshman Devontae Shuler leads the conference with eight steals, averaging 2.0 per game. Tyree is averaging 19.0 points per game.
Florida enters Saturday’s contest with a 12-4 record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in SEC play. The Gators won their first five games of the season before dropping four of five contests. However, they got back to their early season form and are currently riding a six-game winning streak. Florida takes care of the basketball, leading the SEC in turnover margin (+5.1) and turnovers per game (10.1), with both ranking in the top 10 nationally.
The Gators also pace the conference in steals per game (7.6) and 3-pointers made per game (9.6). Jalen Hudson, in his first year as a Gator after transferring from Virginia Tech, leads Florida in scoring at 16.6 ppg. Egor Koulechov, the SEC’s best free throw shooter at 93.9 percent (46 of 49), averages 15.5 ppg to go along with a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. Chris Chiozza (12.9 ppg) is one of the conference leaders in assists (5.8 per game) and steals (1.9 per game), ranking second and third, respectively.
Florida is coached by Mike White, who is in his third season at the helm of the program after serving as the head coach at Louisiana Tech for four seasons. White is a former Rebel, having played at Ole Miss (1996-99) before serving as an assistant coach for seven seasons (2005-11).
Saturday’s game will be the 111th meeting between the Rebels and the Gators. Florida holds a 65-45 lead in the series, which began in 1940, including a win in Gainesville last year. The Gators have won three in a row since the Rebels earned a home-and-home sweep of Florida in 2015, which was their first season sweep of UF since 1990. Ole Miss owns a 29-23 edge in games played in Oxford. Ten of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.comSign up to receive Hottytoddy.com morning and evening headline emails HERE!