Florida will be looking to remain in the top four of the SEC standings when it travels to Auburn on Tuesday night. The Gators snapped a two-game skid with a win over Georgia on Saturday. Auburn has been slumping of late, losing five of its last six games. The Tigers are coming off a 104-80 blowout at LSU.
Gators looking for strong finish to regular seasonFlorida got off to a 6-3 start in SEC play before dropping consecutive games to South Carolina and No. 24 Arkansas. The Gators bounced back with a 70-63 win over Georgia on Saturday afternoon. They took the lead with 12 minutes to play in the first half and never trailed again. Florida held a 30-12 advantage at one point in the first half and maintained that lead for most of the second half. Georgia put together a late run in garbage time to make the final score look closer than it really was. Florida’s offense has shot the ball fairly well and has done a nice job on the offensive glass, but turnover issues have held them back from being great on that end of the court.
The Gators will be facing an Auburn defense that has been mediocre, listed at No. 166 in effective field goal percentage and No. 167 in turnover rate. The Tigers have really struggled with defensive rebounding, so that should be an advantage for Florida. Sophomore guard Tre Mann leads the Gators with 14.1 points and 3.6 assists per game. Junior forward Colin Castleton has emerged into one of the best big men in the SEC, averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds. He is shooting a blazing 60.7 percent from the floor. Junior guard Noah Locke is adding 11.0 points and Tyree Appleby is also in double figures with 10.8 points.
Auburn ineligible for postseasonAuburn lost its first three SEC games of the season before five-star freshman guard Sharife Cooper was ruled eligible by the NCAA. He provided an immediate spark, as the Tigers would win four of their next six games. They have fallen back into their losing ways, though, dropping five of their last six games. Their most recent outing was probably their worst of the season, as LSU dominated from start to finish in a 104-80 blowout. Auburn’s offense is listed at No. 35 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings. The Tigers, like Florida, have been held back due to turnover issues.
Florida is No. 35 in KenPom’s defensive ratings, so it is shaping up to be an important matchup. The Gators do a good job of creating turnovers and forcing tough shots, but their defensive rebounding has not been great. Cooper leads Auburn with 20.2 points and 8.1 assists per game. He is projected to be a top 10 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Sophomore guard Allen Flanigan is scoring 14.2 points and is grabbing 5.2 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in each of his last eight games. Freshman guard Justin Powell was adding 11.2 points, but he is out indefinitely with a concussion.
- 6-1 ATS in its last seven games vs. Auburn
- 3-8-1 ATS in its last 12 February games
- 1-6 ATS in its last seven games vs. Florida