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The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators to face much better Vanderbilt team



Expect Florida to face an improved Vanderbilt team when the Gators travel to Nashville on Saturday for a 3 p.m. game against the Commodores.

According to Vandy coach Kevin Stallings, the Commodores are better than the team that came to Gainesville and got trounced last month.

Vandy has won four of its last five games and is on a four-game winning streak since losing to the Gators 86-64 on Jan. 27. They enter Saturday's game after dismantling Kentucky 83-52 on national television Tuesday night.

"We’re playing a little better and had a good performance on Tuesday night,'' Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "I think that defensively we’ve gotten a ltitle better over the last few weeks, and we seem to be taking better care of the basketball, and those were the things that were plaguing us early on. Hopefully we’ll continue to improve in those areas and we can continue to become a better basketball team. It’s a long season and you have your ups and your downs. You have to do your best to stay as even keeled as possible. And hopefully our guys understand you can’t get too up with a big win or too down with a big loss.''

Florida coach Billy Donovan said he expected the Commodores gradually improve, particularly since because of the brutal schedule they've played. Vandy played six of its first nine SEC games on the road.

:Certainly Vanderbilt is playing great basketball right now,'' Donovan said. "You’ve got to give them a lot of credit with the way their schedule played early, and they are going to make that up on the back end. All year long they have played terrific at home. It’s a tough game for us against one of the better teams in the league who’s really playing well right now.''

Florida (19-6, 6-4) is coming off a loss to LSU at home, and struggling, having lost three of its last four games.

Vanderbilt is 15-0 this season at Memorial Gymnasium, and has won 28 of its last 29 games at home.  Don't think for one moment they aren't looking for payback for the way the Gators embarassed them in Gainesville.

"We look forward to antoher chance with Florida because obviously the first time they handled us in very easy fashion and very thoroughly,'' Stallings said. "So hopefully we can play better this time.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:23pm]


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