Florida visits Missouri on Saturday in a key SEC basketball matchup. Look inside for a preview of the game along with a prediction of the game’s final score.
By 14Powers Hoops
Team Statistical Comparison
Florida Scoring Leaders
|Kerry Blackshear Jr.||14.6||55||83||12|
Florida Rebounding Leaders
|Kerry Blackshear Jr.||39||83||122||8.7|
Missouri Scoring Leaders
Missouri Rebounding Leaders
|Mario McKinney Jr.||5||6||11||1.6|
|0||Ques Glover||G||5′-11″||176||FR||Knoxville, TN|
|1||Tre Mann||G||6′-4″||172||FR||Gainesville, FL|
|2||Andrew Nembhard||G||6′-5″||193||SO||Aurora, ON|
|3||Alex Klatsky||G||6′-3″||189||FR||Colts Neck, NJ|
|4||Anthony Duruji||F||6′-7″||213||JR||Germantown, MD|
|5||Omar Payne||F||6′-10″||223||FR||Kissimmee, FL|
|10||Noah Locke||G||6′-3″||207||SO||Baltimore, MD|
|11||Keyontae Johnson||F||6′-5″||231||SO||Norfolk, VA|
|12||Gorjok Gak||C||6′-11″||244||JR||Sydney, NSW|
|21||Dontay Bassett||F||6′-9″||236||JR||Oakland, CA|
|22||Tyree Appleby||G||6′-1″||163||JR||Jacksonville, AR|
|23||Scottie Lewis||G||6′-5″||185||FR||Hazlet, NJ|
|24||Kerry Blackshear Jr.||F||6′-10″||241||SR||Orlando, FL|
|33||Jason Jitoboh||C||6′-11″||300||FR||Chattanooga, TN|
|0||Torrence Watson||G||6′-5″||205||SO||St. Louis, MO|
|1||Xavier Pinson||G||6′-2″||170||SO||Chicago, IL|
|2||Tray Jackson||F||6′-8″||215||FR||Detroit, MI|
|4||Javon Pickett||G||6′-5″||220||SO||Belleville, IL|
|5||Mitchell Smith||F||6′-10″||221||JR||Van Buren, AR|
|10||Evan Yerkes||G||6′-3″||187||SO||Tinley Park, IL|
|11||Mario McKinney Jr.||G||6′-2″||185||FR||St. Louis, MO|
|12||Dru Smith||G||6′-3″||203||JR||Evansville, IN|
|13||Mark Smith||G||6′-5″||220||JR||Edwardsville, IL|
|14||Reed Nikko||F||6′-10″||240||SR||Maple Grove, MN|
|15||Axel Okongo||F||7′-0″||240||JR||Saacy-sur-Marne, France|
|23||Jeremiah Tilmon||F||6′-10″||260||JR||East Saint Louis, IL|
|24||Kobe Brown||F||6′-7″||240||FR||Huntsville, AL|
|25||Brooks Ford||G||6′-0″||187||SO||St. Louis, MO|
|42||Parker Braun||F||6′-8″||217||FR||Overland Park, KS|
Florida (10-4, 2-0 SEC) toppled South Carolina 81-68 in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday. In that game the Gators built a 3-point lead by halftime. The Gators led by just six with just under seven minutes remaining in the game. However, Florida outscored Carolina 15-8 for the remainder of the game to seal the win. The difference in this game was the Gators superior shooting, rebounding and defense. The Gators made 46.7% of shot from field goal range compared to USC’s 38.3%, 37.5% of 3-point shots to just 26.7% for the Gamecocks. Florida out-rebounded South Carolina 42-30. Florida guard Andrew Nembhard led the Gators in scoring with 21 points. Nembhard made 3 of 5 of from 3-point range and scored half of of the Gators points from 3-point range.
Kerry Blackshear is the Gators top scorer so far this season averaging 14.6 points per game. He’s also the Gator’s top rebounder (8.7 rpg). The second points top points producer is Keyontae Johnson (13.4 ppg). Team statistics wise, Florida doesn’t shine or struggle in any particular statistical category. In most stats the Gators are in the middle of the pack. Two areas the Gators somewhat stands out in is rebounding margin (5th, +5.0) and 3-point defense (5th, 29.6%). Florida does struggle in the area of blocks (12th, 3.7 bpg) and assists (13th, 11.4 apg) and steals (11th, 6.5 spg).
Missouri (8-6, 0-2 SEC) fell to 0-2 in the SEC on Tuesday with a 69-59 home loss to Tennessee. This game was tied at 15 halfway through the first half. However, the Vols would build a modest 32-28 lead by the half. With 13:45 remaining in the second half the Tigers tied the score at 40 on a jumper by forward Tray Jackson, who would go on to lead the Tigers in scoring with 11. The game would be tied four more times before the Vols pulled away. Trailing 64-56 with 2:26 remaining, the Tigers resorted to fouling. The Vols made 5 of 5 free throws in the final moments to seal the win. The Tigers were clearly out-shot by the Vols. From field goal range Mizzou made four less shots than the Vols despite having 11 more attempts. Mizzou wasn’t bad from 3-pont range (35.2%) but Tennessee lit it up making 45.8% from beyond the arc.
Guard Dru Smith leads the Tigers in scoring (11.3 ppg). He also is No. 3 in the SEC in steals with 29 and over 86% of his free throws. Another Smith, guard Mark Smith, is the second leading scorer (11.1 ppg). Mark also is the rebounding leader of the team (4.7 rpg). Yes, there is a third Smith on the team, forward Mitchell Smith. Missouri is among the worst teams in the SEC in scoring offense averaging just 66.7 points per contest. However, the Tigers are the best team in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 57.7 points a game. Mizzou is No. 1 in the SEC in field goal defense (37.6%) and No. 2 in 3-point defense (27.6%).
Florida has looked really solid in its first two SEC contests. They should be able to beat Mizzou but you never know about that Tiger defense.