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Basketball preview: Florida Gators at Missouri Tigers

UF looks to continue its winning ways on the road Saturday night and stay unbeaten in the SEC.
Florida guard Andrew Nembhard shoots over Butler forward Christian David in the second half of their game on Dec. 7, 2019. [MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP]
Florida guard Andrew Nembhard shoots over Butler forward Christian David in the second half of their game on Dec. 7, 2019. [MICHAEL CONROY | AP]
Published Jan. 11

Florida (10-4, 2-0 SEC) at Missouri (8-6, 0-2)

Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo; 8:30 Saturday; TV/radio: SEC Network; 860-AM

BOTTOM LINE: Florida takes its three-game winning on the road to Missouri. The Gators beat South Carolina by 81-68 on the road Tuesday. That same night, Missouri lost 69-59 at home against Tennessee.

TEAM LEADERSHIP: Missouri’s Dru Smith has averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists, and Mark Smith has put up 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds. For the Gators, Kerry Blackshear has averaged 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds, and Keyontae Johnson has 13.4 points and 6.9 rebounds.

FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Andrew Nembhard has made or assisted on 46 percent of all UF’s field goals over the past three games. The sophomore guard has accounted for 18 field goals and 27 assists in those games.

DOUBLE TAKE: Florida looks to make it two wins in Columbia this week, coming off a road win in Columbia, S.C.

SLIPPING AT 63: The Tigers are 0-6 this season when they have allowed 63 points or more and 8-0 when they have held opponents to fewer than 63.

PASSING FOR POINTS: Missouri recently has used assists to create buckets more often than Florida. The Tigers have 40 assists on 73 field goals (54.8 percent) across their past three games; the Gators have assists on 43 of 98 field goals (43.9 percent) during that same span.

TOUGH TIGERS: Missouri has held opposing teams to 57.7 points per game this season, the sixth-lowest figure among all Division I teams.

GATOR BITES: They are looking for their 100th victory under Mike White, who is vying to reach the milestone in the second-fewest games of any Florida coach. White, who will coach his 157th game for UF on Saturday, is a handful of games behind the pace set by two-time national champion Billy Donovan, who reached the milestone in 154 games, and well ahead of Florida’s remaining 100-win coaches (Sam McAllister 170, Lon Kruger 172, Norm Sloan 180). ... Noah Locke has made multiple 3-pointers in 11 straight games, the longest streak since Lee Humphrey had 11 straight in 2006-07 and trailing only Brett Nelson’s 12 in 2000-01. ... Nembhard scored 21 points once in his first 48 games at Florida, then twice in the past two games, pouring in 25 vs. Alabama followed by a 21-point, 10-assist outing at South Carolina for his first double double.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow holds the national championship trophy as safety Grant Delpit looks on after the Tigers beat Clemson 42-25 on Jan. 13 in New Orleans. [GERALD HERBERT  |  AP]
    The LSU Tigers faced five top-seven defenses, averaging 38 points against them.
  2. Coach Mike White has Florida come off a big home win over Auburn on Saturday and lose 84-82 at LSU three days later. [MATT STAMEY  |  AP]
    Video review shows time ran out just before Florida’s tying layup.
  3. Florida head coach Dan Mullen celebrates after the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Virginia, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Florida won 36-28. [BRYNN ANDERSON  |  AP]
    Defensive tackle signee Gervon Dexter has earned his fifth star.
  4. Florida forward Omar Payne (5) runs up court after making a shot against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. Payne was a perfect 9 for 9 shooting during the game. [MATT STAMEY  |  AP]
    Previewing the Gators’ 7 p.m game at LSU on Tuesday.
  5. IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR ALLSTATE - Tim Tebow and fiancé Demi Nel-Peters volunteer together alongside Allstate volunteers at a community service project to benefit the Einstein Charter School ahead of the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in New Orleans. (Cheryl Gerber/AP Images for Allstate) [CHERYL GERBER  |  AP]
    The former quarterback and current Mets minor leaguer previously said he planned to remain a virgin until marriage.
  6. Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) takes aim for Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) during a 2018 game. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The grad transfer will be eligible immediately.
  7. Auburn center Austin Wiley guards Florida forward Omar Payne during the first half of their game on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Gainesville. Payne, a freshman out of Montverde Academy, finishes with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first double double in college. [MATT STAMEY  |  AP]
    Freshman Omar Payne has a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds as UF earns its most impressive victory of the season.
  8. Florida's Keyontae Johnson, shown here scoring against Arkansas in last season's SEC tournament, is averaging 13 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. [MARK HUMPHREY  |  AP]
    UF looks for an elite win Saturday at home, where it has won five in row, to help strengthen its NCAA Tournament resume.
  9. Florida guard Andrew Nembhard shoots over Mississippi guard Devontae Shuler during their game Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Gainesville. [BRAD MCCLENNY  |  AP]
    Coach Mike White says his point guard missed practice Thursday and Friday. If he’s out, freshmen Tre Mann or Ques Glover likely will start Saturday.
  10. Todd Monken spent two seasons in Tampa Bay, the last as offensive coordinator, before being dismissed along with the rest of head coach Dirk Koetter's staff after the 2018 season.
    Tampa Bay’s former play-caller will be designing game plans for the Bulldogs against the Florida Gators next season.
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