Florida Gators Hoops Preview: 3 Things Gators Must Do to Beat Georgia Bulldogs

Andrew O'BrienContributor IJanuary 13, 2014

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 21: Head coach Billy Donovan of the Florida Gators calls to the players during second half action against the Fresno State Bulldogs during the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on December 21, 2013 at the BB
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Florida Gators are just reaching the midway point of the college basketball season, but the heart of the SEC schedule is still around the corner. 

Florida (13-2, 2-0 SEC) will look to continue its seven-game winning streak and improve on its 24 straight home wins when Georgia (8-6, 2-0 SEC) comes to Gainesville on Tuesday night (tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.).

What do the Gators need to do to make it 25 straight home wins? 


1. Dorian Finney-Smith and Michael Frazier Need to Continue to Score

With leading scorer Casey Prather set to miss his second straight game with pain and swelling in his right knee, the Gators will once again need scoring help from other players.

In Saturday's 84-82 overtime win over Arkansas, Finney-Smith had a career day, dropping 22 points and snatching 15 rebounds. He won't need to be that much of a beast on Tuesday, but the Gators will need his length to be effective inside the paint with Prather out.

Finney-Smith won't start against Georgia, but that won't impact the minutes he sees on the hardwood.

Frazier added 15 points (4-of-7 on three-pointers) against Arkansas. He's averaging about 11 points per game this season. The Gators will need to make about eight three-pointers against Georgia. 


2. Kasey Hill Needs to Play Better Defense

Kasey Hill was a highly recruited high school prospect. Despite an early-season ankle injury, he has shown flashes of what makes him so good: He can slash to the rim as good as anyone, especially for his size (fast-forward to the 21-second mark of this video).

His mid-range game needs to improve, especially his three-point efficiency. But what Hill really needs to work on is his defense. As one of the team's two point guards, Hill is playing alongside one of the best on-ball defenders in the country in Scottie Wilbekin. Hill can learn from Wilbekin. It'll be in his best interest.

During Florida head coach Billy Donovan's Monday meeting with the media, he acknowledged Hill's "laziness" on defense. 


3. Rebound, Rebound, Rebound

Georgia averages about 11.5 offensive rebounds per game. Arkansas grabbed 20 against Florida. That can't happen on Tuesday. Florida's big guys—Patric Young and Will Yeguete—need to box out and protect the glass. 

If Georgia gets second-chance opportunities, the Gators will find themselves trying to come from behind like they had to do against Arkansas.

*Stats compiled from ESPN.com unless otherwise noted.