Florida-Georgia Hoops Preview

No. 7/8 Florida at Georgia

Series Record: UF leads 107-97

Last Matchup: UF won 77-44 on Jan. 9

Team: Georgia Bulldogs

Conference: SEC

Head Coach: Mark Fox

Record: 7-10 (1-3 SEC)

Rankings in Polls: Unranked

Starting Five

Charles Mann — G

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — G

Donte’ Williams — F

Brandon Morris — F

John Florveus — F

Key Bench Players

Nemanja Djurisic — F

Vincent Williams — G

Things to Watch

Containing Kentavious: Simply put, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the only Georgia player who poses any sort of threat to the Gators. He hasn’t lived up to the expectations he had coming out of high school, but he still leads the team in points per game (17.5), rebounds per game (6.2) and steals per game (2.6) and is the team’s unquestioned offensive leader. The Gators should be able to limit his production, especially if no one around him offers really any support. Florida’s tough defense will present Caldwell-Pope with a challenge. He only scored 11 points in the last meeting against Florida, so a similar output from him puts the Gators in a great position to win.

Can the Gators Keep the Hot Streak Alive?: Last week, the Gators defeated their two opponents by an average of 26 points. Against Georgia, Florida has an excellent opportunity to keep that dominating hot streak alive, as the Bulldogs have been arguably the conference’s worst team this season. Expect the Gators to win big again in another conference win.

Positional Breakdown

Guards: Although Georgia has other options at the guard position like Vincent Williams off the bench or Charles Mann, the real player here is Caldwell-Pope. He’s an impressive looking player and a physical guard at 6-foot-5, 205-pounds. He not only can shoot well, but he also gets into the paint and go after rebounds, something the Gators have struggled with this season. Containing him will be the key for Florida because as Caldwell-Pope goes, so do the Georgia Bulldogs.

Forwards: Outside of the two starters, Brandon Morris and Donte’ Williams, the Bulldogs get a lot of production from Nemanja Djurisic. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward gets quality minutes off of the bench and is good for nearly 10 points and five rebounds every game. Williams didn’t play against Florida the last time these two teams met, so he’ll provide a new matchup for the Gators. However, none of their primary forwards are a threat to shoot 3-pointers with any consistency, so the key will be guarding against points in the paint.

Centers: The Bulldogs will have two options at center: John Florveus and John Cannon. Both players aren’t really game changers as neither averages more than four points and four rebounds per game. It will just be important for Florida to keep them off of the boards and prevent put-backs. The stats show that Florveus and Cannon won’t provide much offensively, so giving them easy points would not be ideal.

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Drew is a senior at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. When not at school, Drew resides in Lakeland, Fla. Ever since working on his high school yearbook, Drew has had an interest in pursuing a journalism career after college. In addition to being Editor-in-Chief of his school newspaper, The Samford Crimson, Drew has also been with Gator Country as an intern for one year. He enjoys the finer things in life like Tampa Bay Rays baseball and always making sure to make fun of the Atlanta Braves to Andrew Spivey’s face.