The Florida Gators basketball team (6-2) are set to take on their second road game against a ranked team in a row on Saturday night. They travel to East Lansing for a matchup against the No.1 ranked team in the nation – the Michigan State Spartans (10-0).
“It’s a great test,” Dorian Finney-Smith said. “We get to play two great teams back-to-back. We get to see what our foundation is.
After struggling on both sides of the ball in their 66-55 loss to Miami on Tuesday, Florida will have to get back in line to keep up with a team like Michigan State.
Notables From the Gators Last Game:
-Communication is key and the Gators were suffering from miscommunication resulting in missed assignments on the court against Miami, in order to stay in this basketball game they will have to stay in sync.
-Simply put more balls in the basket. Shooting from behind the arc took a downturn for Florida earlier this week when they went just 1 of 12 three-point shots.
-Improve their ball screen defense.
-More rebounds need to be taken off the glass for second chance points to literally keep the ball in their court.
Michigan State Overview:
This basketball team is lead by a freak of nature, otherwise known as Denzel Valentine. The 6-foot-5 senior guard is averaging 18.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game and has logged two triple-doubles so far this season.
Other Spartans to look out for offensively are Bryn Forbes and Deyontae Davis. Forbes is currently shooting 50% from behind the arc and is averaging 12.8 points per game. While Davis has collected 29 offensive rebounds and averages out at 6.2 per game.
In Michael White’s own words, “You wish you had a month to prepare for them… They’re that good.”
For Florida to stay in the game, they will have to shut down Valentine and keep Forbes from making shots from downtown. The Gators will have to sink shots like we have not seen from them this season in order to pull off the upset on the road.
Their saving grace would be getting these power players in foul trouble, forcing Michigan State to move down their roster which does not have as much depth as Florida’s.
For now, all the odds are in the Spartans favor, but the Gators might shock the world of college basketball come Saturday night at 6 p.m. Watch along as it all unfolds in East Lansing, Michigan on ESPN2 or online on WatchESPN.