After extending their win streak to a season-best 11 games with a 67-41 rout of rival Tennessee at the O’Connell Center on Saturday, the Florida Gators have moved up to No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25 poll. This week, the Gators (17-2, 6-0 SEC) will travel to the Magnolia State to take on Mississippi State on Thursday evening before returning to Gainesville to host Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon. The Charm City Gators will NOT be hosting a viewing party for the weekend game due to the game only being broadcast on ESPN3. However, we WILL be hosting all the rest of the regular season SATURDAY games. More details to come soon.
Florida remained perfect in conference play and extended its school-record home winning streak to 26 games by overwhelming Tennessee at the O’Dome on Saturday. Michael Frazeier II scored a team-high 17 points, after pouring in 18 in the win over Alabama on Thursday, and was named the SEC Player of the Week on Monday afternoon. The sophomore guard shot 63% from the field against the Vols and hit 3-of-6 three-pointers. For the year, Frazier is averaging 12.3 points per game, trailing only Casey Prather (16.8 ppg) and Scottie Wilbekin (12.5 ppg) for the Orange and Blue. Senior Patric Young (10.6 ppg) and redshirt sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith (10.4) are also averaging double figures in scoring with Finney-Smith also pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game.
Missisissippi State (13-6, 3-3 SEC) could not keep up with rival Ole Miss on Saturday and lost in Oxford, 82-63. The loss sent the Bulldogs to 0-4 on the road this season, but MSU is 11-1 at the Hump in Starkville, where Thursday’s game will be played. Craig Sword leads the Bulldogs’ offense and is averaging 13.9 ppg on 51.4% shooting. Gavin Ware and Colin Borchert are also averaging double-digits for second-year head coach Rick Ray’s starting five while Roquez Johnson has provided a boost off the bench, scoring 10.0 ppg.
The Gators won 83-58 in Gainesville last season behind 18 points from Mike Rosario to take a 60-49 lead in the all-time series. Florida also won earlier in the year in Starkville, 82-47. UF is 13-8 against the Bulldogs under Billy Donovan and 5-4 at MSU under his tutelage.
Texas A&M lost at Kentucky, 68-51, last Tuesday and then 66-55 at home to Vanderbilt on Saturday to fall to 12-7 overall and 3-3 in SEC play this season. The Aggies now travel to South Carolina on Wednesday evening before making their way to the Sunshine State to battle the Gators on Saturday.
The Aggies have struggled offensively this season and are averaging an SEC-worst 67.6 points per game. Jamal Jones in the only Texas A&M player to average in double figures, scoring 11.8 points per game overall and 16.3 points in SEC contests. TAMU has been stingy on defense, however, ranking behind only the Gators, giving up just 62.1 points per contest.