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Does LSU have a chance?

Written by johnpatton, February 19, 2011, 0 Comments,
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Florida is 17-1 this season when limiting opponents to 70 points or less. That mark is 6-0 in Southeastern Conference play.

Louisiana State has yet to score 70 points in an SEC game this year.

The Gators are undefeated in February. The Tigers are winless since Jan. 12.

Florida allows its opponents to shoot 41.6 percent from the floor. LSU enters the contest shooting only 40.1 percent – and that’s when it’s not playing a team that allows the second-fewest points in the league (61.8).

If that sounds like a potentially bad mix for the home team in Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the visiting Gators (20-5, 9-2 in the SEC) and the Tigers (10-16, 2-9), well, it probably is.

With that said, LSU has won three-out-of-the-last-four against UF and the Gators haven’t been victorious in Baton Rouge since 2003, so those are positives for the Tigers, right?

Not if you consider that the Gators took last year’s game, 72-58, and have snapped numerous streaks this year. In the 2010-11 season Florida has won at Florida State for the first time since 2002, has won at Tennessee for the first time since 2005 and handed Xavier its first home loss in 30 games.

Yeah, it could be another very long day for the Tigers, who have a lot of respect for the No. 14/15 Gators.

“For me there were two teams in my own little closet that I thought would be at the forefront of this league,” LSU coach Trent Johnson said. “In the West it was probably the team we played (Thursday, Alabama), and then Florida. (The Gators have) got a mix of seniors, juniors and freshmen. When you look at what Billy (Donovan) has done there, so much has been brought up about one-and-dones and two-and-pros… one of the reasons they’ve been so consistent as a program is their blend of seniors, juniors and sophomores. A guy graduates and the next guy steps in and they don’t have big drops in their program.

“Chandler Parson seems like he’s been there forever. My first year when he came to our place I thought how are you going to guard him? He’s big, he shoots it, he runs and he moves. (Point guard Erving) Walker is as quick as all get out. Then, what they have going on in the post with (Alex) Tyus and (Vernon) Macklin, they’re special. They’re really solid, they guard you and they can play fast or play slow.

“I think this is a basketball team without question that’s going to go deep in the tournament. I really believe that.”

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR/ANSWERS FROM

Tennessee


1. It has been an inconsistent year for senior power forward Alex Tyus. But he had perhaps his best game of the season in UF’s 81-75 overtime victory against Tennessee on Jan. 11. Tyus led the way with 18 points (on 8-of-12 shooting), seven rebounds (tying Patric Young for team-high honors) and a game-best three blocked shots. His steal and subsequent dunk in overtime helped to seal the win. Can he put up a similar performance against the Vols in Round Two?

Answer: Tyus played well, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds – his second double-double of the year. He added two steals and an assist. If there was a negative, it was the three turnovers he committed.

2. All five Gator starters scored between 11 and 18 points against Tennessee last month. Will UF produce similar offensive balance on Saturday?

Answer: Actually, there was very good balance, as four Gator starters scored between 10 and 16 points, and the fifth, Chandler Parsons, was limited in his effectiveness as he played almost the entire way with a painful deep thigh bruise.

3. Despite it being an overtime affair, Tennessee scored just eight points off the bench (six by center Brian Williams, a former starter) and Florida just four (all by Patric Young).  Will the reserves provide more scoring this time around?

Answer: The Volunteers got 16 points off the bench (11 by Williams, five by Josh Bone), while Florida’s reserves totaled eight (five by Scottie Wilbekin, three by Erik Murphy).

4. The Gators did not block a shot in Wednesday night’s victory at South Carolina, but rejected five the last time they played Tennessee. In that game, the Vols blocked seven shots. How many shots will the two teams block (note: UT enters averaging 4.4 bpg and UF 4.0 bpg)?

Answer: Vernon Macklin blocked two and Young one, as UF rejected three Volunteer shots. Tennessee only got two blocks, both by Williams.

5. How will the often-unforgiving O’Connell Center crowd treat Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, who missed the first game while serving an NCAA-imposed eight-game suspension in Southeastern Conference play?

Answer: The home crowd was a major factor, just like it was against Kentucky a week earlier. After a really slow start to the season (hey, where were you guys for three months?), the O’Dome fans have come on lately and have been at their frenzied best late in those close contests.

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR

LSU


1. After a 2-0 start in conference play, LSU has lost nine consecutive games. The Tigers have lost by double digits in six of those (including by 38 to Kentucky, by 27 to Mississippi, by 22 to Tennessee, by 34 to Alabama and 19 to Arkansas). Will this be close?

2. Florida swingman Chandler Parsons enters the contest having played in a team-best 131 consecutive games. However, he suffered a deep thigh bruise last Saturday evening against Tennessee. How much, if anything, will UF get out of its versatile senior?

3. With Parsons expected to be limited at best, freshman Casey Prather could be in line for more minutes. Will he get those added minutes, and how will he play?

4. The Gators are 4-0 in SEC play when dishing out at least 15 assists. They have achieved that feat two times in the last three games. Will they do it again on Sunday?

5. With 189 career three-pointers, UF junior point guard Erving Walker needs just three more to tie Matt Walsh for sixth place in school history. Will he do it?

GAME 26 PREVIEW

No. 14/15 FLORIDA GATORS (20-5, 9-2)

Position: Players, Height/Weight, Year, 2010-11 statistics

G: Erving Walker,
5-8/171, JR, 14.7 points per game, 3.4 assists per game

G: Kenny Boynton, 6-2/183, SO, 12.9 points per game, 2.3 assists per game

F: Chandler Parsons, 6-10/218, SR, 10.8 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game

F: Alex Tyus, 6-8/220, SR, 8.7 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game

C: Vernon Macklin, 6-10/240, SR, 11.3 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game

Head coach: Billy Donovan (351-144 in 15th season at Florida; 386-164 in 17th season as a head coach)

LOUISIANA STATE TIGERS (10-16, 2-9)

Position: Players, Height/Weight, Year, 2010-11 statistics

G: Andre Stringer,
5-9/170, FR, 11.8 points per game, 2.9 assists per game

G: Ralston Turner, 6-6/193, FR, 12.4 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game

F: Matt Derenbecker, 6-7/185, FR, 6.8 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game

F: Storm Warren, 6-7/230, JR, 6.0 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game

F: Malcolm White, 6-9/225, JR, 8.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game

Head coach: Trent Johnson (48-44 in third season at LSU; 207-166 in 12th season as a head coach)

When: Sunday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.

Where: Maravich Assembly Center (Baton Rouge, La.)

TV/Radio: ESPN/Gator Radio Network

Tickets: Available at the box office or visit http://www.lsutix.net.

Notable: LSU leads the all-time series, 60-38, and has won six-of-the-last-nine meetings between the two schools. That said, Billy Donovan is 10-8 against the Tigers. A win Sunday would even Donovan’s record in Baton Rouge at 4-4. … The Gators are 9-1 against the SEC West spanning the last two seasons. Florida is 53-17 against the West since 2000. … A victory will give UF seven true road wins for the first time since going 7-3 in 2002-03. The best road record one of the two national championship teams could produce was 6-4 in 2005-06. UF was just 8-9 (including neutral-site games) away from the O’Connell Center last season. … Starting guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker are combining for 29.4 points in league play. … LSU is 0-3 against opponents from the East this season. … Florida’s senior power forward Alex Tyus has gone 130 consecutive games (his entire career) without fouling out. Walker has the second-longest streak on the team at 84. … The Tigers start three freshmen, and those players (Andre Stringer, Ralston Turner and Matt Derenbecker) have accounted for nearly 50-percent of LSU’s points this year. … LSU gave up 30 points off 17 turnovers in an 11-point loss to West-leading Alabama on Thursday night. … Tigers’ starting forward Malcolm White, a Mississippi transfer, was slowed by leg cramps in the game against the Crimson Tide. He said that was the first time in his career that had happened. … Like UF (guard Brad Beal), LSU will be joined by a McDonald’s All American next year. Center Johnny O’Bryant (6-10, 260) has signed a national letter of intent with the Tigers. … The Tigers haven’t had a single player start in every game this year. Walker and Chandler Parsons have started all 25 games for UF this season. … UF and LSU have each blocked 98 shots as teams this season. Through 24 games South Carolina’s Sam Muldrow had 85 by himself. … Florida is 15-1 when leading at the half this year. … Walker needs 41 points to reach 1,200 for his career. He also needs 14 assists to reach 350, 21 rebounds for 250 and 15 steals to get to 125. … Tyus needs 25 rebounds to reach 700 for his career. … With seven assists, Parsons will have 300 for his career. He’s also 28 rebounds from 800 and 86 points from 1,400. … Erik Murphy is 11 rebounds from grabbing 150 in his career. Also, with one more blocked shot, Murphy will have 16 this year, exactly doubling his total of a year ago. … Macklin is 16 rebounds away from 350 in his UF career. … Boynton needs one point to get to 800 for his career. … Despite its record and depth, Florida has been outscored, 346-325, off the bench this season. … The Gators have 75 dunks as a team this year. Tyus and Macklin each have 22 rejections to lead the way. … Patric Young has been the first Gator off of the bench 12 times this year, leading the team. Fellow freshman Scottie Wilbekin is second with nine. … Wilbekin has turned the ball over 19 times in 423 minutes this season. … Stringer has made four three-pointers in a game five times this season. … LSU starters Ralston Turner (right foot stress fracture) and Storm Warren (right Achilles tendonitis) have combined to miss eight games this year, though both are getting healthier. … Tigers’ coach Trent Johnson finished his college playing career in Boise State’s top 10 all-time in scoring and rebounding. He was named All-Big-Sky as a senior. … Johnson is the 20th coach in LSU history. He has been named the coach of the year in three conferences. In 2003 he won the Western Athletic Conference award while at Nevada. He was the Pac-10 coach of the year in 2008 (Stanford) and the SEC coach of the year in 2009.

PAST EXAMS AND GATOR(GR)ADES

Game 1: Florida 77, UNC Wilmington 60. Gator Player of the Game: Scottie Wilbekin (3 points, 5 assists, 4 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Chad Tomko (15 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B– . Record: 1-0.

Game 2: Ohio State 93, Florida 75. Gator Player of the Game: Vernon Macklin (12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block); Opposing Players of the Game: David Lighty (26 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal) and Jared Sullinger (26 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C. Record: 1-1.

Game 3: Florida 105, North Carolina A&T 55. Gator Player of the Game: Will Yeguete (7 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Thomas Coleman (8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A– . Record: 2-1.

Game 4: Florida 61, Morehead State 55. Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Kenneth Faried (20 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocked shots. Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C– . Record: 3-1.

Game 5: Florida 79, Florida Atlantic 63. Gator Players of the Game: Alex Tyus (19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist) and Kenny Boynton (21 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound); Opposing Player of the Game: Greg Gantt (17 points, 2 assists, 1 steal). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B-. Record: 4-1.

Game 6: Florida 55, Florida State 51. Gator Player of the Game: Erik Murphy (10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 blocked shot); Opposing Player of the Game: Michael Snaer (15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 5-1.

Game 7: Central Florida 57, Florida 54. Gator Player of the Game: Vernon Macklin (20 points on 10-of-11 shooting, 8 rebounds); Opposing Player of the Game: Marcus Jordan (18 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C-. Record: 5-2.

Game 8: Florida 67, American 48. Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Troy Brewer (17 points, 2 rebounds). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 6-2.

Game 9: Florida 65, Kent State 52. Gator Players of the Game: Alex Tyus (20 points on 10-of-15 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist) and Vernon Macklin (19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 1 steal, 1 assist); Opposing Player of the Game: Carlton Guyton (14 points, 4-of-6 on three-pointers, 3 rebounds, 3 assists). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 7-2.

Game 10: Florida 57, Kansas State 44. Gator Players of the Game: Kenny Boynton (15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, 1 assist, helped limit Pullen to 6-of-17 shooting); Opposing Player of the Game: Jacob Pullen (19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 8-2.

Game 11: Jacksonville 71, Florida 68 (OT). Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (game-high 21 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound); Opposing Player of the Game: Keith McDougald (team-high 18 points – 15 in the second half/overtime, 2 steals, 1 rebound). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: D+. Record: 8-3.

Game 12: Florida 66, Radford 55. Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (game-high 20 points, including 5-of-7 on 3s, 3 assists, 2 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Johnathan Edwards (team-high 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C-. Record: 9-3.

Game 13: Florida 71, Xavier 67. Gator Player of the Game: Kenny Boynton (16 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal); Opposing Player of the Game: Tu Holloway (game-high 26 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 10-3.

Game 14: Florida 84, Rhode Island 59. Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot); Opposing Player of the Game: Delroy James (game-high 23 points, 6 rebounds). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 11-3.

Game 15: Florida 77, Mississippi 71. Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (20 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, becomes 47th Gator to record 1,000 career points); Opposing Player of the Game: Chris Warren (20 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 rebounds, 1 blocked shot). Buddy’s Gator(Gr)ade: B+. Record: 12-3 (1-0 in the SEC).

Game 16: Florida 81, Tennessee 75 (OT). Gator Player of the Game: Alex Tyus (18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 1 steal); Opposing Players of the Game: Cameron Tatum (game-high 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal) and Tobias Harris (18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocked shots). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 13-3 (2-0).

Game 17: South Carolina 72, Florida 69 Gator Player of the Game: Patric Young (career-high 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal, 2-for-2 FTs in 19 minutes); Opposing Player of the Game: Bruce Ellington (game-high 23 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4-for-4 on FTs, 1 turnover in 30 minutes). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: D+. Record: 13-4 (2-1).

Game 18: Florida 45, Auburn 40 Gator Player of the Game: No award given; Opposing Player of the Game: Earnest Ross (11 points, 3-of-4 three-pointers, 3 rebounds, game-high 3 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: D. Record: 14-4 (3-1).

Game 19: Florida 75, Arkansas 43 Gator Players of the Game: Kenny Boynton (20 points, 4-of-7 three-pointers, 4 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers, held Razorbacks’ leading scorer, Rotnei Clark, shotless) and Chandler Parsons (career-high 15 rebounds, 5 points, game-high 5 assists); Opposing Player of the Game: Delvon Johnson (12 points, team-high 7 rebounds, 1 blocked shot). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 15-4 (4-1).

Game 20: Florida 104, Georgia 91 (2 OT) Gator Players of the Game: Vernon Macklin (career-high 23 points, 10-of-15 from floor, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal), Kenny Boynton (game-high 24 points, 12-of-12 FTs, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals) and Erving Walker (game-high 24 points, game-tying 3 at end of first OT, 5 assists, 4 rebounds); Opposing Player of the Game: Trey Thompkins (20 points, game-high 13 rebounds, game-high 3 blocked shots). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 16-4 (5-1).

Game 21: Mississippi State 71, Florida 64 Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (team-high 18 points, 5 rebounds, team-high 4 assists, 2 turnovers); Opposing Player of the Game: Dee Bost (game-high 24 points, game-high 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C. Record: 16-5 (5-2).

Game 22: Florida 65, Vanderbilt 61 (OT) Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (team-high 18 points, game-high 11 rebounds with 4 offensive, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 turnover in 39 minutes); Opposing Player of the Game: John Jenkins (game-high 22 points, 6 rebounds 1 steal, 1 turnover in 42 minutes). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B. Record: 17-5 (6-2).

Game 23: Florida 70, Kentucky 68 Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (team-high 17 points, game-high 12 rebounds with 3 offensive, 5 assists, 1 blocked shot, no turnovers in 37 minutes); Opposing Player of the Game: Brandon Knight (game-high 24 points, 4-of-5 three-pointers, 6-for-6 FTs, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 blocked shot, 4 turnovers in 36 minutes). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 18-5 (7-2).

Game 24: Florida 79, South Carolina 60 Gator Players of the Game: Chandler Parsons (14 points, game-high 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal) and Erving Walker (season- and game-high 25 points on just 9 shots – making seven, including 4-of-5 three-pointers, 3 assists, 2 steals, just 1 turnover in 36 minutes) ; Opposing Player of the Game: Bruce Ellington (team-high 14 points, 5 rebounds, co-team-high 3 assists, co-team-high 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 19-5 (8-2).

Game 25: Florida 61, Tennessee 60 Gator Players of the Game: Erving Walker (team-high 16 points – including 9-for-9 from the foul line, 3 assists, 1 rebound) and Alex Tyus (10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Scotty Hopson (game-high 22 points, 3-of-3 on three-pointers, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B. Record: 20-5 (9-2).

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Florida is 17-1 this season when limiting opponents to 70 points or less. That mark is 6-0 in Southeastern Conference play.

Louisiana State has yet to score 70 points in an SEC game this year.

The Gators are undefeated in February. The Tigers are winless since Jan. 12.

Florida allows its opponents to shoot 41.6 percent from the floor. LSU enters the contest shooting only 40.1 percent – and that’s when it’s not playing a team that allows the second-fewest points in the league (61.8).

If that sounds like a potentially bad mix for the home team in Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the visiting Gators (20-5, 9-2 in the SEC) and the Tigers (10-16, 2-9), well, it probably is.

With that said, LSU has won three-out-of-the-last-four against UF and the Gators haven’t been victorious in Baton Rouge since 2003, so those are positives for the Tigers, right?

Not if you consider that the Gators took last year’s game, 72-58, and have snapped numerous streaks this year. In the 2010-11 season Florida has won at Florida State for the first time since 2002, has won at Tennessee for the first time since 2005 and handed Xavier its first home loss in 30 games.

Yeah, it could be another very long day for the Tigers, who have a lot of respect for the No. 14/15 Gators.

“For me there were two teams in my own little closet that I thought would be at the forefront of this league,” LSU coach Trent Johnson said. “In the West it was probably the team we played (Thursday, Alabama), and then Florida. (The Gators have) got a mix of seniors, juniors and freshmen. When you look at what Billy (Donovan) has done there, so much has been brought up about one-and-dones and two-and-pros… one of the reasons they’ve been so consistent as a program is their blend of seniors, juniors and sophomores. A guy graduates and the next guy steps in and they don’t have big drops in their program.

“Chandler Parson seems like he’s been there forever. My first year when he came to our place I thought how are you going to guard him? He’s big, he shoots it, he runs and he moves. (Point guard Erving) Walker is as quick as all get out. Then, what they have going on in the post with (Alex) Tyus and (Vernon) Macklin, they’re special. They’re really solid, they guard you and they can play fast or play slow.

“I think this is a basketball team without question that’s going to go deep in the tournament. I really believe that.”

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR/ANSWERS FROM

Tennessee


1. It has been an inconsistent year for senior power forward Alex Tyus. But he had perhaps his best game of the season in UF’s 81-75 overtime victory against Tennessee on Jan. 11. Tyus led the way with 18 points (on 8-of-12 shooting), seven rebounds (tying Patric Young for team-high honors) and a game-best three blocked shots. His steal and subsequent dunk in overtime helped to seal the win. Can he put up a similar performance against the Vols in Round Two?

Answer: Tyus played well, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds – his second double-double of the year. He added two steals and an assist. If there was a negative, it was the three turnovers he committed.

2. All five Gator starters scored between 11 and 18 points against Tennessee last month. Will UF produce similar offensive balance on Saturday?

Answer: Actually, there was very good balance, as four Gator starters scored between 10 and 16 points, and the fifth, Chandler Parsons, was limited in his effectiveness as he played almost the entire way with a painful deep thigh bruise.

3. Despite it being an overtime affair, Tennessee scored just eight points off the bench (six by center Brian Williams, a former starter) and Florida just four (all by Patric Young).  Will the reserves provide more scoring this time around?

Answer: The Volunteers got 16 points off the bench (11 by Williams, five by Josh Bone), while Florida’s reserves totaled eight (five by Scottie Wilbekin, three by Erik Murphy).

4. The Gators did not block a shot in Wednesday night’s victory at South Carolina, but rejected five the last time they played Tennessee. In that game, the Vols blocked seven shots. How many shots will the two teams block (note: UT enters averaging 4.4 bpg and UF 4.0 bpg)?

Answer: Vernon Macklin blocked two and Young one, as UF rejected three Volunteer shots. Tennessee only got two blocks, both by Williams.

5. How will the often-unforgiving O’Connell Center crowd treat Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, who missed the first game while serving an NCAA-imposed eight-game suspension in Southeastern Conference play?

Answer: The home crowd was a major factor, just like it was against Kentucky a week earlier. After a really slow start to the season (hey, where were you guys for three months?), the O’Dome fans have come on lately and have been at their frenzied best late in those close contests.

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR

LSU


1. After a 2-0 start in conference play, LSU has lost nine consecutive games. The Tigers have lost by double digits in six of those (including by 38 to Kentucky, by 27 to Mississippi, by 22 to Tennessee, by 34 to Alabama and 19 to Arkansas). Will this be close?

2. Florida swingman Chandler Parsons enters the contest having played in a team-best 131 consecutive games. However, he suffered a deep thigh bruise last Saturday evening against Tennessee. How much, if anything, will UF get out of its versatile senior?

3. With Parsons expected to be limited at best, freshman Casey Prather could be in line for more minutes. Will he get those added minutes, and how will he play?

4. The Gators are 4-0 in SEC play when dishing out at least 15 assists. They have achieved that feat two times in the last three games. Will they do it again on Sunday?

5. With 189 career three-pointers, UF junior point guard Erving Walker needs just three more to tie Matt Walsh for sixth place in school history. Will he do it?

GAME 26 PREVIEW

No. 14/15 FLORIDA GATORS (20-5, 9-2)

Position: Players, Height/Weight, Year, 2010-11 statistics

G: Erving Walker,
5-8/171, JR, 14.7 points per game, 3.4 assists per game

G: Kenny Boynton, 6-2/183, SO, 12.9 points per game, 2.3 assists per game

F: Chandler Parsons, 6-10/218, SR, 10.8 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game

F: Alex Tyus, 6-8/220, SR, 8.7 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game

C: Vernon Macklin, 6-10/240, SR, 11.3 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game

Head coach: Billy Donovan (351-144 in 15th season at Florida; 386-164 in 17th season as a head coach)

LOUISIANA STATE TIGERS (10-16, 2-9)

Position: Players, Height/Weight, Year, 2010-11 statistics

G: Andre Stringer,
5-9/170, FR, 11.8 points per game, 2.9 assists per game

G: Ralston Turner, 6-6/193, FR, 12.4 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game

F: Matt Derenbecker, 6-7/185, FR, 6.8 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game

F: Storm Warren, 6-7/230, JR, 6.0 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game

F: Malcolm White, 6-9/225, JR, 8.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game

Head coach: Trent Johnson (48-44 in third season at LSU; 207-166 in 12th season as a head coach)

When: Sunday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.

Where: Maravich Assembly Center (Baton Rouge, La.)

TV/Radio: ESPN/Gator Radio Network

Tickets: Available at the box office or visit http://www.lsutix.net.

Notable: LSU leads the all-time series, 60-38, and has won six-of-the-last-nine meetings between the two schools. That said, Billy Donovan is 10-8 against the Tigers. A win Sunday would even Donovan’s record in Baton Rouge at 4-4. … The Gators are 9-1 against the SEC West spanning the last two seasons. Florida is 53-17 against the West since 2000. … A victory will give UF seven true road wins for the first time since going 7-3 in 2002-03. The best road record one of the two national championship teams could produce was 6-4 in 2005-06. UF was just 8-9 (including neutral-site games) away from the O’Connell Center last season. … Starting guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker are combining for 29.4 points in league play. … LSU is 0-3 against opponents from the East this season. … Florida’s senior power forward Alex Tyus has gone 130 consecutive games (his entire career) without fouling out. Walker has the second-longest streak on the team at 84. … The Tigers start three freshmen, and those players (Andre Stringer, Ralston Turner and Matt Derenbecker) have accounted for nearly 50-percent of LSU’s points this year. … LSU gave up 30 points off 17 turnovers in an 11-point loss to West-leading Alabama on Thursday night. … Tigers’ starting forward Malcolm White, a Mississippi transfer, was slowed by leg cramps in the game against the Crimson Tide. He said that was the first time in his career that had happened. … Like UF (guard Brad Beal), LSU will be joined by a McDonald’s All American next year. Center Johnny O’Bryant (6-10, 260) has signed a national letter of intent with the Tigers. … The Tigers haven’t had a single player start in every game this year. Walker and Chandler Parsons have started all 25 games for UF this season. … UF and LSU have each blocked 98 shots as teams this season. Through 24 games South Carolina’s Sam Muldrow had 85 by himself. … Florida is 15-1 when leading at the half this year. … Walker needs 41 points to reach 1,200 for his career. He also needs 14 assists to reach 350, 21 rebounds for 250 and 15 steals to get to 125. … Tyus needs 25 rebounds to reach 700 for his career. … With seven assists, Parsons will have 300 for his career. He’s also 28 rebounds from 800 and 86 points from 1,400. … Erik Murphy is 11 rebounds from grabbing 150 in his career. Also, with one more blocked shot, Murphy will have 16 this year, exactly doubling his total of a year ago. … Macklin is 16 rebounds away from 350 in his UF career. … Boynton needs one point to get to 800 for his career. … Despite its record and depth, Florida has been outscored, 346-325, off the bench this season. … The Gators have 75 dunks as a team this year. Tyus and Macklin each have 22 rejections to lead the way. … Patric Young has been the first Gator off of the bench 12 times this year, leading the team. Fellow freshman Scottie Wilbekin is second with nine. … Wilbekin has turned the ball over 19 times in 423 minutes this season. … Stringer has made four three-pointers in a game five times this season. … LSU starters Ralston Turner (right foot stress fracture) and Storm Warren (right Achilles tendonitis) have combined to miss eight games this year, though both are getting healthier. … Tigers’ coach Trent Johnson finished his college playing career in Boise State’s top 10 all-time in scoring and rebounding. He was named All-Big-Sky as a senior. … Johnson is the 20th coach in LSU history. He has been named the coach of the year in three conferences. In 2003 he won the Western Athletic Conference award while at Nevada. He was the Pac-10 coach of the year in 2008 (Stanford) and the SEC coach of the year in 2009.

PAST EXAMS AND GATOR(GR)ADES

Game 1: Florida 77, UNC Wilmington 60. Gator Player of the Game: Scottie Wilbekin (3 points, 5 assists, 4 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Chad Tomko (15 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B– . Record: 1-0.

Game 2: Ohio State 93, Florida 75. Gator Player of the Game: Vernon Macklin (12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block); Opposing Players of the Game: David Lighty (26 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal) and Jared Sullinger (26 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C. Record: 1-1.

Game 3: Florida 105, North Carolina A&T 55. Gator Player of the Game: Will Yeguete (7 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Thomas Coleman (8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A– . Record: 2-1.

Game 4: Florida 61, Morehead State 55. Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Kenneth Faried (20 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocked shots. Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C– . Record: 3-1.

Game 5: Florida 79, Florida Atlantic 63. Gator Players of the Game: Alex Tyus (19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist) and Kenny Boynton (21 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound); Opposing Player of the Game: Greg Gantt (17 points, 2 assists, 1 steal). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B-. Record: 4-1.

Game 6: Florida 55, Florida State 51. Gator Player of the Game: Erik Murphy (10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 blocked shot); Opposing Player of the Game: Michael Snaer (15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 5-1.

Game 7: Central Florida 57, Florida 54. Gator Player of the Game: Vernon Macklin (20 points on 10-of-11 shooting, 8 rebounds); Opposing Player of the Game: Marcus Jordan (18 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C-. Record: 5-2.

Game 8: Florida 67, American 48. Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Troy Brewer (17 points, 2 rebounds). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 6-2.

Game 9: Florida 65, Kent State 52. Gator Players of the Game: Alex Tyus (20 points on 10-of-15 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist) and Vernon Macklin (19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 1 steal, 1 assist); Opposing Player of the Game: Carlton Guyton (14 points, 4-of-6 on three-pointers, 3 rebounds, 3 assists). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 7-2.

Game 10: Florida 57, Kansas State 44. Gator Players of the Game: Kenny Boynton (15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, 1 assist, helped limit Pullen to 6-of-17 shooting); Opposing Player of the Game: Jacob Pullen (19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 8-2.

Game 11: Jacksonville 71, Florida 68 (OT). Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (game-high 21 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound); Opposing Player of the Game: Keith McDougald (team-high 18 points – 15 in the second half/overtime, 2 steals, 1 rebound). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: D+. Record: 8-3.

Game 12: Florida 66, Radford 55. Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (game-high 20 points, including 5-of-7 on 3s, 3 assists, 2 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Johnathan Edwards (team-high 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C-. Record: 9-3.

Game 13: Florida 71, Xavier 67. Gator Player of the Game: Kenny Boynton (16 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal); Opposing Player of the Game: Tu Holloway (game-high 26 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 10-3.

Game 14: Florida 84, Rhode Island 59. Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 blocked shot); Opposing Player of the Game: Delroy James (game-high 23 points, 6 rebounds). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 11-3.

Game 15: Florida 77, Mississippi 71. Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (20 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, becomes 47th Gator to record 1,000 career points); Opposing Player of the Game: Chris Warren (20 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 rebounds, 1 blocked shot). Buddy’s Gator(Gr)ade: B+. Record: 12-3 (1-0 in the SEC).

Game 16: Florida 81, Tennessee 75 (OT). Gator Player of the Game: Alex Tyus (18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 1 steal); Opposing Players of the Game: Cameron Tatum (game-high 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal) and Tobias Harris (18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocked shots). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 13-3 (2-0).

Game 17: South Carolina 72, Florida 69 Gator Player of the Game: Patric Young (career-high 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 blocked shot, 1 steal, 2-for-2 FTs in 19 minutes); Opposing Player of the Game: Bruce Ellington (game-high 23 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4-for-4 on FTs, 1 turnover in 30 minutes). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: D+. Record: 13-4 (2-1).

Game 18: Florida 45, Auburn 40 Gator Player of the Game: No award given; Opposing Player of the Game: Earnest Ross (11 points, 3-of-4 three-pointers, 3 rebounds, game-high 3 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: D. Record: 14-4 (3-1).

Game 19: Florida 75, Arkansas 43 Gator Players of the Game: Kenny Boynton (20 points, 4-of-7 three-pointers, 4 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers, held Razorbacks’ leading scorer, Rotnei Clark, shotless) and Chandler Parsons (career-high 15 rebounds, 5 points, game-high 5 assists); Opposing Player of the Game: Delvon Johnson (12 points, team-high 7 rebounds, 1 blocked shot). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 15-4 (4-1).

Game 20: Florida 104, Georgia 91 (2 OT) Gator Players of the Game: Vernon Macklin (career-high 23 points, 10-of-15 from floor, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal), Kenny Boynton (game-high 24 points, 12-of-12 FTs, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals) and Erving Walker (game-high 24 points, game-tying 3 at end of first OT, 5 assists, 4 rebounds); Opposing Player of the Game: Trey Thompkins (20 points, game-high 13 rebounds, game-high 3 blocked shots). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 16-4 (5-1).

Game 21: Mississippi State 71, Florida 64 Gator Player of the Game: Erving Walker (team-high 18 points, 5 rebounds, team-high 4 assists, 2 turnovers); Opposing Player of the Game: Dee Bost (game-high 24 points, game-high 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: C. Record: 16-5 (5-2).

Game 22: Florida 65, Vanderbilt 61 (OT) Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (team-high 18 points, game-high 11 rebounds with 4 offensive, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 turnover in 39 minutes); Opposing Player of the Game: John Jenkins (game-high 22 points, 6 rebounds 1 steal, 1 turnover in 42 minutes). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B. Record: 17-5 (6-2).

Game 23: Florida 70, Kentucky 68 Gator Player of the Game: Chandler Parsons (team-high 17 points, game-high 12 rebounds with 3 offensive, 5 assists, 1 blocked shot, no turnovers in 37 minutes); Opposing Player of the Game: Brandon Knight (game-high 24 points, 4-of-5 three-pointers, 6-for-6 FTs, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 blocked shot, 4 turnovers in 36 minutes). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A. Record: 18-5 (7-2).

Game 24: Florida 79, South Carolina 60 Gator Players of the Game: Chandler Parsons (14 points, game-high 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal) and Erving Walker (season- and game-high 25 points on just 9 shots – making seven, including 4-of-5 three-pointers, 3 assists, 2 steals, just 1 turnover in 36 minutes) ; Opposing Player of the Game: Bruce Ellington (team-high 14 points, 5 rebounds, co-team-high 3 assists, co-team-high 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: A-. Record: 19-5 (8-2).

Game 25: Florida 61, Tennessee 60 Gator Players of the Game: Erving Walker (team-high 16 points – including 9-for-9 from the foul line, 3 assists, 1 rebound) and Alex Tyus (10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals); Opposing Player of the Game: Scotty Hopson (game-high 22 points, 3-of-3 on three-pointers, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals). Patton’s Gator(Gr)ade: B. Record: 20-5 (9-2).

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