Alabama hoops faces tall task against No. 23 Gators


By Staff
Jan. 10,

Where to watch: No. 23 Florida (12-3, 3-0) at Alabama (9-5, 2-0) – Today 8 p.m. Central, Coleman Coliseum,

Who to watch: Donta Hall. The sophomore center is in danger of falling out of the starting lineup, particularly given the improved play of senior Jimmie Taylor, but tonight could be an opportunity for him to bounce back. Florida is an effective offensive but not a particularly fast-paced one, and it doesn’t run much of its offense through the post, which will hopefully keep Hall out of foul trouble. The Gators are last in the SEC in defensive rebounding and Hall is at his best when cleaning up the offensive glass and scoring on putbacks. His 64 percent shooting percentage is fifth-best in the league.

What to watch for: Ball security. has been prone to turning the ball over (13.5 per game), especially against the tougher teams it has faced. And sure enough, Florida leads the SEC in steals with 8.3 per game. has a hard enough time scoring when it actually gets a shot off and certainly can’t afford to give away possessions. Florida is a tough, cohesive unit that boasts the reigning conference player of the week (shooting guard KeVaughn Allen) and certainly won’t be rattled by playing away from home after spending its first 11 games away from Gainesville due to arena renovations. At a minimum the Gators are as good as Oregon and and arguably better. will need to play better than it has all year by an order of magnitude to spring the upset tonight.

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