No. 24 Gators prepare for home rivalry matchup with No. 8 Kentucky
When Florida is playing at its best, it's a balanced ball team. In Thursday's blowout win against Missouri, four players scored in double figures and three came close with 8-9 points. As for defense, head coach Mike White said it was the first time he's seen the Gators defend in their home arena. If that's what a full 40 minutes looks like for the Gators, White says they can't reinvent themselves just because a juggernaut is coming into town.
"You gotta play really smart. It'll be the only thing we talk about offensively," White said. "We're not putting in new plays. We're not gonna have 10 offensive keys. We gotta give ourselves a chance to defend these guys, starting with our offense."
Kentucky ranks third in the country in scoring offenses, and it leads the SEC in scoring margin, field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, and blocked shots.
UF knows a win like this is exactly what it needs to buff up its post-season resume.
"For future reference and getting into the tournament and things like that, it would definitely be a big win for us," center John Egbunu said. "But we have to focus on today and getting better in practice today, and the rest will take care of itself."
Said forward Devin Robinson: "That's a big one, but anybody can be beaten. We just go in there and play hard. It's always a good time when you play against Kentucky. I haven't beaten them since I've been here, so it would be pretty nice to see them go down."
In their last three outings, the Gators have won by an average margin of 35.3 points. This team is more confident than it was a year ago, but at the same time, White says the Gators have a healthy level of confidence and respect for the Wildcats, they're smart enough to know they can't come in and pummel UK like they've they've done to their last three wins.