Florida men, women in action tonight
The Florida men's and women's basketball teams are both in action tonight as the Gator men host North Carolina A&T at 7, while the women will play DePaul in the semifinals of the Women's Preseason NIT at 8 p.m.
The men's team is coming off a disappointing loss to No. 4 Ohio State at home Tuesday night, and will return to action just two days later without one starter and another limited by injury.
Senior forward Alex Tyus will not play tonight because of a concussion he suffered in Tuesday's game. And senior center Vernon Macklin is dealing with a knee injury that has limited his practice time over the past week.
Florida coach Billy Donovan said he's unsure how his team will respond following the loss and short turnaround time.
"There's always going to be one of two things we're going to look at, if we would have won the game are you worried about a letdown and if you lose the game, are you worried about the guys may not come out focused or down or disappointed,'' Donovan said. "I think that you're always concerned because I think the season is about how you respond from game to game. Something is going to happen in the previous game, whether it be good or bad, and how do you respond to that going forward? I think this is another test to see how our team will respond going forward.''
Tonight's game against DePaul will be a huge early test for the women's team (2-0), which will take six newcomers - including four true freshmen - on the road for the first time.
DePaul, which is one of only 13 teams in the country that has earned a berth into the last eight NCAA Tournaments, is the only team in the WNIT semifinals that won a road game during its path to Thursday. The Blue Demons (2-0), averaged 83 points and shot 47.1 percent from the floor during their two victories, which they won by an average of 23.5 points.
“DePaul is a veteran team with NCAA Tournament experience and high expectations for themselves,” said UF head coach Amanda Butler, who collected her 100th career win with Monday’s 76-70 victory against Charlotte in the WNIT quarterfinal round. “They are exceptionally well coached and playing on their home court. We’re excited about all those challenges and the opportunity to match-up against a team with their record and qualifications.”