Gator basketball comes to St. Pete Times Forum tonight
The Florida men's basketball team will play Wright State today at 7 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum.
The game is one of four neutral-site, in-state games the Gators will participate in this season. Florida coach Billy Donovan said he likes the idea of taking the Gators to places where there's a large Florida fan base, but not necessarily an opportunity for those fans to attend games in Gainesville very often.
"I think we're always sensitive to the balance with our schedule, having good quality opponents here at home and also in understanding on a weekday game it's very difficult for people in Tampa or Orlando, Jacksonville or Miami to make a trip and have to go to work the next day,'' he said. "So if we can play a game in some of those cities with the following there is with the University of Florida, I always think that's a good thing, something we want to continue doing. It's worked out the last couple of years where we've had pretty good balance, we've been able to play some neutral site games in the state, it's been good. And we've also been able to bring some quality people to our place.''
This is Florida's first regular-season meeting with a Horizon League opponent. Wright State lost five players from the 2010-11 season, but has a large freshman class of eight players. Freshman Reggie Arceneaux has made an immediate impact for the Raiders, leading the team with 11.7 ppg, followed by Cole Darling who has averaged nine points and nine rebounds through the first three games.
"They're a team that has got a lot of depth, a lot of size across the front line,'' Donovan said. "They've got a very good point guard that's a lot like Erving Walker (Arceneaux) that leads them in scoring, undersized, quick, heady, got good speed. (Julius) Mays is a transfer from N.C. State that we saw a couple of years ago when we went there and played when he was a freshman. He's a good scorer and player. . . . You look at them, it's like 10-11 guys who are playing double figure minutes and based on how they are playing is probably based on how their minutes are going. But they have a lot of different lineups and a lot of things they can do based on the way the game is going.''
Interesting side note to the game: Donovan was recruited to Providence by Bill Donlon, the father of Wright State head coach Billy Donlon.