WHERE: Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida
TV, TIME: ESPN, ESPN 3, 8:00 PM CDT
MIZZOU: (16-5, 4-4 SEC)
The Missouri Tigers are looking to bounce back after dropping a close home loss to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. Jabari Brown is the tigers and SEC’s leading scorer, averaging 20.4 ppg and coming off a career day in which he scored 33. Jordan Clarkson is his partner in crime, averaging 18.9 ppg giving Missouri a very dangerous back court.
The problem that has plagued Mizzou this season is there in ability to get points and rebounds from there post players. Johnathan Williams III, Earnest Ross and Tony Criswell have all struggled to be consistent threats for the tigers in the paint. They had trouble defending guys like Johnny O’Bryant and Julius Randle, being out scored and rebounded in both of those contests.
It wont get any easier for Missouri this week, as they travel to Gainesville to take on the #3 ranked Florida Gators. The tigers will likely struggle to find an answer for Florida’s forward, Casey Prather, who’s averaging 16 ppg. It’s going to take an exceptional effort for Missouri to pull this off and would be one of the biggest upsets of the season to this point.
FLORIDA: (19-2, 8-0 SEC)
The Gators are a loaded, Senior lead team that just continues to hold dominance in the SEC. Head Coach, Billy Donovan is currently in his 18th season with the Gators and just completed his second straight, undefeated January and the Gators have now won 13 straight games. They’re also undefeated in conference play having won 8 straight SEC games.
It all starts with their four seniors Will Yeguete, Casey Prather, Patric Young, and Scottie Wilbekin. As mentioned before, Casey Prather is the one who could give the tigers the most trouble. He averages 16 ppg and is a dynamic scorer loaded with experience. Patric Young is the other player to watch for as he averages in double figures from the center postition.
The crowd is going to be hostile and Missouri is outmatched. This game could go a lot like it did last season when the tigers traveled to Florida and lost 83-52. The tigers struggle on the road and Florida is too good at home which pieces together the perfect recipe for disaster if your Mizzou.