Arizona at Florida headlines tonight
Arizona (6-2) travels to Gainesville to take on No. 12 Florida in the game of the night. Florida features a high powered offense that has five guys averaging in double figures scoring, nearly six with big man Patric Young at 9.8 points per game. Scoring guard Kenny Boynton leads the attack with 19 points per game. The Gators are coming off of a four point loss to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome five days ago and will be looking to get right at home.
Freshman Bradley Beal is already becoming one of my favorite players in college basketball. The 6’3″ guard out of St. Louis is averaging 15.6 per game and six rebounds. He was shut down for 7 points against the ‘Cuse and the Gators haven’t been tested aside from that all season because the schedule has been filled with cupcakes. I believe he will step up in big games in the future starting tonight against Arizona. Big time game and a true shooter. He will be a top ten pick after this season if he decides to take that route.
Guards Irving Walker and Mike Rosario, both averaging double figures scoring, combined with Beal and Boynton is top flight quality in guards. Rosario got the clamps on him against the Cuse. Down low is where the Gators have problems. Young and Will Yeguete are all they have in the paint and both have been underwhelming.
Arizona started the season ranked in the top 25 but fell out after dropping games to Mississippi State and San Diego State. Both of those teams are good but not top flight teams. Solomon Hill 6’6″ 225 pound forward leads the team with 12.4 points per game and will have to have a big game if the Wildcats stand a chance.
Erik Murphy is returning to the Cats after missing three games with a hurt knee and could be a difference maker against the Gators in the paint. Arizona doesn’t have anyone else that can do what he can do inside and out. Murphy can stroke the three, hitting 8-14 from distance on the season so far. Josiah Turner will be out for the Wildcats due to getting suspended. Arizona will miss the 6’3″ freshman guard on the court, he is getting 7 points per game on the year but has had flashes of potential.
Prediction: Florida defends the home court and wins by 10. Boynton and Beal both go for a 20 piece bucket.
Other games to watch: No. 8 Xavier at Butler, No. 15 Alabama at Dayton, Vandy at Davidson, Wichita State at Tulsa, Oklahoma State at Mo State. Duke, Louisville, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Texas AM are all in action against cupcakes and all should put a 20 piece on their competition tonight.