Levi Stukes is questionable as is the status of Florida’s top player Matt Walsh. Both are struggling with injures and neither may play a major role in tonight’s contests between the hated rivals.
For Florida, however, there are other weapons to go to beyond just Walsh. On the other hand, Georgia will find out tonight if Kevin Brophy can perform the way he did Saturday – when Stukes was not in the lineup – on a consistent basis. And even if Brophy can still drop 18 points on the Gators – will it be enough for Georgia to win?
"To beat a Vanderbilt team that I have a lot of respect for, it shows you how much their coaching staff is doing. That win says a lot about their kids and the strides their program is making. We are coming off a loss,” said Florida coach Billy Donavan on Monday’s teleconference. Florida lost in overtime to Tennessee last week.
“We played harder from beginning to end,” said Dennis Felton of Georgia’s performance against Vandy. It was Georgia’s first win since beating Savannah State in December.
Georgia has given Florida trouble in the recent past having spilt with the Gators in their last six meetings. But two of Georgia’s three losses to Florida in the last three years have been in Gainesville.
Georgia may no longer be the worst team in the SEC by record, but they are now playing the third best team by record at their place. A win seems unlikely at best, but the key would be for Stukes, Brophy, and Channing Toney to combine to give them Bulldogs about 50 points while the rest of the team chips in another 18.
Steve Newman and company are going to have to figure out how to slow down Florida’s David Lee and Al Horford. That combination is pounding the boards at a rate of 20.6 rebounds a game in conference play along with almost 20 points, too.
This year’s Gators are scoring at a higher rate than any other Donavan-coached Florida team except the 1999-00 team that won 29 games. Not good for Georgia.