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. 

Coming Soon: Billy Donovan Court

Billy Donovan, 19-year head coach of the Gator Men’s Basketball team, will be honored Saturday night when the University of Florida basketball court gets a new name. The floor of Exatech Arena will be known as “Billy Donovan Court” as of tomorrow night. The dedication will take place when the Gators take on SEC opponent Vanderbilt at 8 p.m.

Donovan’s Deeds at UF

Donovan began his tenure in Gainesville in 1996. He led the Gators to six SEC regular-season Championships, four league tournament titles, 14 NCAA Tournaments appearances and four Final Fours.

AP18151665313263-300x200Not to mention, Florida won back-to-back National Championships under Donovan in 2006 and 2007. This remains the only time in the past 25 years where a men’s basketball team won back-to-back titles. Also, The Gators ranked No. 1 nationally in five different seasons under Donovan.

To say the man was successful at Florida is an understatement.

Over 19 seasons, Donovan racked up a 467-185 record.

In 2015, he took a job in the NBA and became the Oklahoma City Thunder’s heads coach.

How it All Went Down

In early October, UF athletic director Scott Stricklin and his predecessor, Jeremy Foley, took a trip to Oklahoma to tour Oklahoma and Oklahoma State campus facilities, or that’s what they said at least.

They met Donovan and his wife for dinner one evening to “catch up”.

However, that wasn’t exactly the purpose of their trip. Donovan “sensed” something was up.
Stricklin and Foley delivered the exciting news that night in Oklahoma.

After tomorrow, the O’Dome court will forever be attached to Donovan’s name.

 

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