A series that seems to come down to the last second or at least that is the way it has been 3 out of the last 4 meetings. Carolina is coming off its worst SEC lost of the season, while Florida has been “red hot” winning 6 of its last 7. Florida is 6-3 in the SEC and is looking to make a statement on the road as it builds its’ resume for the NCAA tournament. USC is just looking to stay alive in SEC play and remain part of the NCAA Tourney conversation.
Tip off is set for 8 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network (Channel 806 – Time Warner Cable, Columbia).
In January’s contest in Gainesville, Downey dropped 36 on the Gators and has averaged 34.5 ppg against UF in the last two meetings. But the word is Downey has a sprained ankle which could hinder his performance tonight. If he is slowed by the injury, it will be a long night for the Gamecocks as the offense flows through him. Hope Coach Horn took our advice and will run some set plays tonight thus to involve others in the game.
Key’s to the game:
Post Defense is a must, Chism had a career day against the Gamecocks on Saturday. Muldrow and Steed will need to step up with there weak-side defense as Florida will look to attack the basket. Tyus and Macklin are big and physical, lets just hope Steed and Jefferson can stay out of foul trouble. It seems like Steed is average about 5 minutes a game, because of all the foul trouble.
The Walker vs. Downey match is always a fun one to watch as both are small guards that play with high energy. Look for Walker to exploit Downey’s injury if they are ever matched up. Horn likes to keep Downey off other teams point guards to keep him fresh for the offensive side of the ball.
Someone other than Devan has to score points in bunches. Raley-Ross and Galloway will need to step-up again, make some shots to help out on the offensive side of the ball. Downey can’t do it all. Word has gotten out that Devan is good so look for defenses to throw all they got to slow him down.
Home crowd, get loud. Sections 113-115 will now be reserved for students with Garnet Army shirts on. The intensity level should be at an all time high for the Garnet Army. The Colonial Life Arena is getting a reputation as one of the toughest places to play in the SEC….keep it up! South Carolina is 10-2 in games played at Colonial Life Arena this season, scoring 80.0 points per game in those contests. The Gamecocks are 3-1 in conference home games this season with wins over LSU, then-No.1 Kentucky and Georgia.
Finally, somebody please guard Chandler Parsons. I think we all remember what he did last time.
Prediction: Carolina 62 Florida 59