Wildcats vs. Tigers – An SEC Showdown

Wildcats vs. Tigers – An SEC Showdown

The No. 15 Auburn Tigers will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to face the eighth ranked Wildcats at 3:45 p.m. tomorrow. The Tigers have won the past two meetings against the Wildcats, including beating Kentucky in the Elite Eight in overtime last year.

What’s at stake?

Wildcats

Kentucky currently leads the SEC with a 13-2 conference record. The Wildcats are on a seven game win streak, including four road games. With a win on Saturday, Kentucky can clinch the SEC regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the SEC tournament.

Coach Calipari’s team is led by Immanuel Quickley. He’s averaging 16.2 points a game, but lately it has been much, much more than that. In three consecutive games, he has accounted for at least 29 points. During Tuesday’s matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies, Quickley scored 30 points.

Junior forward Nick Richards has also been crucial to Kentucky’s success thus far. He leads the team with 7.9 rebounds.

After the showdown with the Tigers, Kentucky will host Tennessee at home and face the Gators in Gainesville to close out the regular season.

Tigers

Coach Bruce Pearl’s Tigers are sitting in second place of the SEC as of right now. Kentucky holds a two-game lead over Auburn.

Auburn has lost its last two road games falling to Missouri and Georgia. If they were to get a win on Saturday, it would certainly add some drama to the last week of regular season play. Auburn faces both Tennessee and Texas A&M next week.

The Tigers’ shooting percentage this season has dropped from 46 percent to 39 percent when playing on the road.

Senior guard Samir Doughty leads the Tigers in scoring with an average of 16.1 points per game. Doughty scored 14 points in Auburn’s win over Ole Miss Tuesday. This makes it 11 games straight in which he’s scored in the double digits.

Auburn has a tough task awaiting them inside Rupp Arena Saturday afternoon. Kentucky is 48-2 all-time against the Tigers in Lexington.

 

Story can also be found at wruf.com for ESPN Gainesville. 

SEC Hoops Preview

SEC Hoops Preview

It will be a night of SEC hoops as eight teams meet on the court in just a few hours.

Florida at LSU 7 p.m.

SEC Network

The Florida Gators are coming off an upset win against SEC opponent Auburn. At the time, Auburn was ranked No. 4 in the country. Florida knocked off the Tigers 69-47 in Gainesville Saturday.

The Gators will face the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge tonight. LSU currently leads the SEC hoops world. They are undefeated in conference play and are led by senior guard Skylar Mays. He’s averaging 15.9 points a game.

Georgia at Kentucky 7 p.m.

ESPN

No. 15 ranked Kentucky is seeking its fifth SEC win of the season as they host Georgia tonight. Calipari’s Wildcats are back at home after a road win against the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday. Kentucky survived the Razorback’s efforts at a second-half comeback.
Georgia is 1-3 in the SEC. They fell to Mississippi State 59-91 Saturday. Anthony Edwards leads the Dawgs averaging 23 points per game.
The Wildcats are an 11.5 point favorite over Georgia.

Texas A&M at Missouri 9 p.m.

ESPNU

Missouri is coming off a close loss against the Alabama Crimson Tide. They fell to the Tide 88-74 in the final minutes. Missouri is currently 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.
The Aggies are also looking to bounce back after a loss. South Carolina beat Texas A&M 81-67 Saturday. A win against Missouri would certainly help the Aggies, especially if they have any hopes of making a postseason appearance.

Ole Miss at Tennessee 9 p.m.

SEC Network

Ole Miss is seeking its first win in conference play and hoping to break their five-game losing streak. The Rebels will meet the Tennessee Volunteers in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols are coming off a win against in-state rival Vanderbilt.

Jordan Bowden, Tennessee guard, broke out of his shooting slump against the Commodores and accounted for 21 points in the Vols 66-45 win Saturday. Bowden is a key player to watch tonight against the Rebels.

 

Story can also be found at wruf.com for ESPN Gainesville. 

 

 

 

Gator Defensive Backs Making It Work

Gator Defensive Backs Making It Work

The Florida Gator defense is young, but they are not afraid of a challenge. Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham’s unit has proven they can make it work.

Missing Key Players

In Florida’s first home game of the season against Tennessee Martin they lost arguably their best defender, C.J. Henderson. He suffered an ankle sprain. Henderson started in all 13 games of the 2018 season and is regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the country. He did not play against Kentucky last week and is questionable for the Gators upcoming matchup against Tennessee. Junior Donovan Stiner will miss the first half against Tennessee because of a targeting penalty in the Kentucky game last weekend.

Stepping Up

The Florida Gator defense, particularly the defensive backs, have shown they are capable of stepping up. Against the Wildcats this past weekend they accounted for three interceptions and recovered one fumble. Brad Stewart Jr. recovered the first fumble for the Gators just three minutes into the game. The Gators defense builds off of each other. Defensive back Shawn Davis, along with his teammates, loved seeing Stewart make a play. It fueled them in a sense.

In the third quarter Davis intercepted Kentucky QB Sawyer Smith’s pass for a 72 yard return all the way to the Kentucky 21 yard line. When asked about that specific drive Davis said he just knew it was coming to him.

That wasn’t the end of Davis’ performance Saturday. He intercepted Smith’s pass with six minutes left in the game as well.

Florida also has been using a method of rotating its safeties throughout the game. According to Davis, this is because the team is “comfortable and confident” with all their guys playing.

“Coach Mullen puts players in the best position to make plays,” said defensive back Trey Dean.

The Gator defense is confident with their unit moving forward. Florida will take on Tennessee this Saturday at noon on ESPN.

 

Story can also be fond via wruf.com for ESPN Gainesville.