The red-hot South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Gainesville to face the Florida Gators in a rematch of a thrilling game just a few weeks ago. South Carolina won that game by one point with a three-quarter court pass to a streaking Zam Frederick for a layup at the buzzer (see the play again).
The winning team will be at worst tied for first place in the loss column of the SEC East.
Florida 18-4, 5-2, 12-0 (home), RPI 35
South Carolina 16-4, 5-2, 3-3 (away), RPI 47
Florida has won 7 of the last 10
Florida has won 4 of the last 5 in Gainesville
Players to Watch
Florida—G Nick Calathes, F Alex Tyus, F Chandler Parsons
South Carolina—G Devan Downey, G Zam Frederick, F Mike Holmes
What Florida must do to win
The Gators have to try and slow South Carolina's dynamite backcourt of Downey and Frederick. Downey is more of the driver and Frederick is more the shooter but both are capable in either aspect. Florida has to stop the dribble penetration from breaking down their defense.
Also, the Gators have to hit their free throws. They were up late in Columbia and would have won the game if they had hit their one-and-ones late.
What South Carolina must do to win
South Carolina needs to force turnovers. The Gamecocks forced 18 from the Gators last time, six above Florida's season average, and 21 from Kentucky this past weekend. Downey and Frederick need to continue to deliver in the clutch as this game will come down to the wire.
The Gators had the game in Columbia won and even with all the free throws missed it took a perfect outlet pass three-quarters of the length of the court for South Carolina to win. I think they bounce back from a poor shooting night on Saturday vs. Tennessee.
However, I think the Gamecocks make this one go right down to the end again because they are playing too well to get blown out even on the road.
Florida wins by 3-8 points
Other SEC Games This Week
Kentucky Over Miss State Tuesday
I think the Wildcats bounce back from two poor defensive efforts in a row to take this at home.
LSU over Georgia Wednesday
LSU is rolling right now under first-year coach Trent Johnson. Georgia is more concerned with Bob Knight being their coach than this game.
Ole Miss over Auburn Wednesday
That Kentucky win looks to have inspired this Rebel team that was floundering early in the SEC season.
Tennessee over Arkansas Wednesday
The Vols may have found an elixir to their ills with that atmosphere this past Saturday. I think they take some of that renewed energy on the road to Fayetteville and win.
Vanderbilt over Alabama Thursday
Vandy is the home team amongst two underachieving teams so I will take them.
Season: 10-12 SU through Feb. 2.
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