Florida, fresh off a much needed victory over the Ole Miss Rebels, tip off against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. The Gators will be playing on the Bulldogs’ home court, but thus far, playing host has been far less advantageous than in years past without crowds able to fill stadiums with their cheers and boos.
The Mississippi State offense will be a much tougher obstacle to overcome than the mediocre effort mustered by the Rebels. The Bulldogs have a deadly one-two scoring punch in the form of guards Iverson Molinar and DJ Stewart Jr., each of whom are playing over 30 minutes per game and are outscoring every player on the Gators roster on a points-per-game basis. It would also be foolish to overlook forward Tolu Smith, who is a rebounding machine and had big scoring performances against Mizzou and Vanderbilt.
This game figures to be a good one – the ESPN Basketball Power Index gives the two teams a nearly even shot at victory – so what do the Gators need to do to pull off a win? Let’s take a look at three possibilities.