Grudge Match: Arkansas At #5 Florida
- CoachingMike Anderson is in his second year at Arkansas and has already won more conference games (seven) than he did last season. A win over Georgia tonight would give the Razorbacks three straight wins heading into this huge showdown with Florida.Florida lost at Missouri on Tuesday night. After each of its three previous losses this season the Gators bounced back with a dominant victory. Billy Donovan is hoping for the same on Saturday.
- OffenseB.J. Young and Marshawn Powell take the large majority of shots for Arkansas; they combine to average 31 points per game. The Razorbacks do a great job of protecting the basketball.The Gators have plenty of weapons and shoot the three at a high percentage, but they can fall in love with the trifecta, as witnessed by their 10 of 33 performance against Missouri.
- DefenseAnderson, a former assistant at Arkansas under Nolan Richardson, wants to press and wreak havoc on the defensive end. His team is doing a good job of forcing turnovers but a poor job on the defensive glass.Florida ranks in the top three in the conference when it comes to forcing turnovers, defensive rebounding, and opponents’ shooting percentage. Point guard Scottie Wilbekin is a great on-ball defender.
- Bench DepthAnderson needs fresh legs to utilize his preferred style of play. Sure enough, 44 percent of the minutes go to bench players, the highest of any major conference team.With Will Yeguete injured, Florida only goes seven deep. Those two reserves are the versatile Casey Prather and sharpshooter Michael Frazier, however.
Arkansas handed Florida its first SEC loss on Feb. 5, winning 80-65 in one of the bigger upsets of the season at the time. Their hot shooting from that game is unlikely to repeat itself, giving Florida the edge at home. -Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor