3 takeaways as Florida suffers embarrassing road loss to Ole Miss

The Gators shot just 4 of 29 from three-point range in a 16-point loss to the Rebels.

The Gators seemed to be turning things around. After an 0-3 start to SEC play in a brutal opening to the schedule, they entered Monday night’s game winners of three-straight and looking to get back on the right side of .500 with a road matchup against a struggling Ole Miss team in Oxford.

But instead of a relatively easy win, UF delivered one of its worst offensive performances in recent memory as the Rebels shocked coach Mike White‘s team with a 70-54 win in a game that was originally meant to be these teams’ SEC opener before COVID-19 cases forced the game to be rescheduled.

Florida (12-7, 3-4 SEC) jumped out to a fast start and led by seven points in the first half, but the offense fell apart as Mississippi (10-9, 2-5 SEC) quickly captured the momentum and never relinquished it. The game was tied at 22 heading into the locker room, but the Rebels couldn’t miss in the second half and UF couldn’t keep up.

As things currently stand, this one will go in the books as a Quadrant 2 loss for the Gators, who stand at 3-2 in such games this season. They were looking to enter a crucial matchup against Tennessee in Knoxville on Wednesday night with momentum on their side, but now they will limp into that one on a short turnaround with their NCAA Tournament hopes dwindling.

Here are the takeaways as Florida drops a conference game it really needed to win.

Free Throws: Pat Dooley’s quick takes on Florida’s horrible loss to Ole Miss

The first half was pretty ugly but the second half was just awful.

Florida’s defense was the culprit as much as anything as the Gators (12-7, 3-4 SEC) gave up 48 points after the game was tied at the half to drop a road match against Ole Miss (10-9, 2-5 SEC) on Monday night.

Florida was playing its third straight game without Colin Castleton and also was without CJ Felder, who had a non-COVID illness.

But this was about a team that was desperate for a win against a team that looked like it was not the same one that played its way back to .500 in the league play and off the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Ole Miss was without one of its starters Jarkel Joiner, but guards Matthew Murrell and Daeshun Ruffin combined for 41 points.

Florida gave up the first eight points in the second half before coming back to tie the game at 32. Not much went right after that for UF.

By the 10:42 mark, Ole Miss led by 10 and Florida never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Particularly disheartening was a lob dunk when Ole Miss inbounded the ball with one second left on the shot clock.

“You yell switch, you gotta switch,” Mike White said. “We continue to struggle with adversity. It’s not the sign of a great team obviously.”

From there, the Rebels just kept increasing their lead.

The Gators were tied at the half at 22 despite going 7:43 without making a field goal and missing several point-blank layups.

The game was made up on a rare Monday night SEC contest because of a postponement back in December.

The Gators will play Ole Miss again later in the season.

Despite win streak, UF still shut out of USA TODAY Sports Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll

The Gators remain shut out of the Coaches Poll but are inching their way back up.

Another week, another USA TODAY Sports Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll without a single vote for Florida basketball. Despite scoring three wins in a row after a brutal start to their Southeastern Conference schedule, the Gators have bounced back but still have a ways to go before cracking the top 25 again.

The Orange and Blue have gotten it done without star center Colin Castleton, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Fortunately, Florida has faced some inferior opponents recently but it is yet to be seen how this team will perform against top-flight teams as it wades deeper into the SEC schedule.

Speaking of superior teams, the SEC currently has four teams in the top 25 in the most recent update, led by the No. 2 Auburn Tigers, who are currently nipping at the heels of the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Kentucky Wildcats come in at No. 13 while the LSU Tigers are ranked No. 18 and the Tennessee Volunteers No. 20. The Alabama Crimson Tide received 53 votes and the Texas A&M Aggies grabbed 12 votes to wrap up conference teams in the latest poll.

A look at the full Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports:

A look at the full Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports:

Rank Team Record Points Change
1 Gonzaga 15-2 784 (18)
2 Auburn 18-1 777 (13)
3 Arizona 16-1 742 (1)
4 Baylor 17-2 690 +2
5 Kansas 16-2 667 +2
6 Purdue 15-3 589 -2
7 Duke 15-3 567 -2
8 UCLA 13-2 551 +1
9 Houston 17-2 538 +1
10 Michigan St 15-3 501 +3
11 Wisconsin 15-3 466 -3
12 Villanova 14-5 423 -1
13 Kentucky 15-4 400 -1
14 Texas Tech 15-4 396 +5
15 USC 16-2 333
16 Ohio State 12-4 311 +2
17 Providence 16-2 293 +4
18 LSU 15-4 171 -2
19 Connecticut 13-4 165 +6
20 Tennessee 13-5 154 +5
21 Illinois 13-5 139 -4
22 Colorado St 15-1 126 +1
23 Xavier 14-4 107 -3
24 Iowa State 14-5 99 -10
25 Texas 14-5 3 -3

Schools Dropped Out

No. 24 Loyola-Chicago

Others Receiving Votes

Alabama 53; Marquette 44; Brigham Young 36; Seton Hall 32; Davidson 30; Miami-Florida 22; Loyola-Chicago 21; Oregon 18; Florida State 18; Indiana 17; Boise St. 14; Texas A&M 12; Texas Christian 10; Wake Forest 9; Iowa 8; Murray St. 5; San Francisco 3; Saint Mary’s 2; Wyoming 1; UAB 1

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Florida basketball looking to win fourth-straight conference game

Florida basketball is finally getting to play Ole Miss after the conference opener was postponed.

Things didn’t look good for Florida basketball after an 0-3 start to conference play, but the Gators have a chance to get above .500 against Southeastern Conference opponents on Monday in Mississippi.

Ole Miss was supposed to host Florida on Dec. 29 to kick off conference play, but the game was postponed after several Florida players entered the NCAA’s health and safety protocols. The Rebels are only 9-9 this year and are 1-6 against the SEC. They did push Tennessee to overtime, though, and Florida will be without its star center Colin Castleton, who is dealing with a left shoulder injury.

Freshman guard Kowacie Reeves has stepped up over the last five games, leading the team in plus-minus in four of them. The Gators have been looking for some consistency in the backcourt and Reeves appears to be the team’s best option right now. Myreon Jones and Tyree Appleby have both had moments of brilliance this season, but neither has been consistent enough to stay in the starting rotation.

The Gators are working with a smaller lineup now that Castelton is unavailable, but his absence has led to the emergence of backup center Jason Jitoboh. In two starts, Jitoboh has totaled 16 points (on 6 of 9 shooting), 12 rebounds and three blocks. He is still learning to stay out of foul trouble, but Jitoboh is a far more productive player for the Gators now than he has ever been.

Both teams will be without their leading scorers on Monday. Rebels guard Jarkel Joiner is dealing with a back problem and has been out for a few weeks recovering.

Ole Miss does have a 7-foot center that Florida needs to deal with, but the Gators should be able to keep the win streak alive before heading to Tennessee on Wednesday.

How to follow Florida basketball vs Ole Miss

Gameday betting odds for Florida basketball vs Ole Miss

Tip-off is at 7 p.m EST in Oxford, Mississippi.

Projected Starting Lineups:

FLORIDA

Player Pos H/W Class
Anthony Duruji F 6-7 / 220 Senior
Jason Jitoboh C 6-11 / 305 Junior
Kowacie Reeves G 6-5 / 182 Freshman
Brandon McKissic G 6-3 / 185 Graduate
Phlandrous Fleming Jr. G 6-5 / 205 Graduate

OLE MISS

Player Pos H/W Class
Jaemyn Brakefield F 6-8 / 220 Sophomore
Nysier Brooks C 7-0 / 245 Graduate
Daeshun Ruffin G 5-9 / 160 Freshman
Matthew Murrell G 6-4 / 200 Sophomore
Tye Fagan G 6-3 / 198 Senior

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Game day betting odds for Florida basketball at Ole Miss Rebels

Here is a look at the odds for tonight’s Gators at Rebels matchup.

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Florida basketball hits the road on Monday night for a makeup game against the Ole Miss Rebels, which had been postponed due to COVID protocols back on Dec. 29. Now, the two face off in a Southeastern Conference battle between two teams heading in opposite directions.

The Gators enter the game riding a three-game winning streak after starting conference play with three-straight losses while the Rebels have lost five of their six SEC games. Going into tonight, Florida sits at No. 34 in the NET rankings while Ole Miss comes in a full 100 spots lower at No. 134. Nonetheless, the bookmakers seem to think this game will be closer than the rankings suggest.

The Tipico Sportsbook favors the Gators by 4.5-points over the Rebels while the over/under is set at 131.5. The money lines for Florida and Ole Miss are minus-200 and plus-160, respectively, as of 10 a.m. EST on Monday morning.

Team Spread Money Line Total Points
Florida -4.5
-105
-200 O 131.5
-112
Ole Miss 4.5
-120
+160 U 131.5
-108

How to follow Florida basketball at Ole Miss Rebels

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on Monday night inside the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss, Oxford, Mississippi. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+, livestreamed on the ESPN app and can be heard on the Gators IMG Sports Network.

All Betting Lines are Courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook

Visit our free to play game lobby at Daily Ticket, Powered by Tipico Sportsbook

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How to follow Florida basketball at Ole Miss Rebels

Here’s everything you need to know to follow tonight’s game at Ole Miss.

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Things have been looking up for Florida basketball in recent days as Mike White‘s team has bounced back from an 0-3 start in Southeastern Conference play with three straight wins — albeit, against inferior opponents — to even up its SEC record. On Monday night, the Gators hit the road for a makeup game against the Ole Miss Rebels that was postponed back on Dec. 29 due to COVID protocols.

While Florida has bounced back, Ole Miss has not. The Rebels have lost their last four games and five of their six SEC matchups so far, including an overtime loss to the Tennessee Volunteers to start the year. Hopefully, the Gators can keep them on the schneid and continue its turnaround in the absence of Colin Castleton.

Here is a look at how to follow Monday night’s action across various media starting at 7 p.m. EST.


Television: SEC Network+

Play-by-Play: Seth Austin

Analyst: John Stroud

Live Stream: fuboTV (try it free)

Radio: Gators IMG Sports Network

Play-by-Play: Mick Hubert

Analyst: Lee Humphrey

Game Track: FloridaGators.com, ESPN app

Game Notes: FloridaGators.com

Follow the Action: Follow Gators Wire (@GatorsWire) Twitter for more updates.

Prediction: Florida 75, Ole Miss 70

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How it happened: A big first half helps Oregon steamroll the Huskies, 84-56

The Oregon Ducks have now won 6th straight after an impressive 84-56 blowout over Washington.

It would have been a bit understandable if Oregon had a little letdown after that historic weekend in Los Angeles. But instead, the Ducks proved those wins over UCLA and USC were not a fluke as they humiliated Washington for 40 straight minutes.

Oregon played nearly a perfect half in the first 20 minutes of action, led 48-13 at halftime and cruised from there to hammer the Huskies 84-56 inside Matthew Knight Arena.

The win is the Ducks’ sixth straight as they improve to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play. The last four wins have shown Oregon is playing as well as anyone in the country and the Ducks should wake up Monday morning as a ranked team.

Gators get a healthy bump up in NET rankings after Vandy win

Gators are movin’ on up! To the east side (of the SEC)…

Florida basketball turned up the defense on Saturday afternoon in the O’Connell Center and ran the Vanderbilt Commodores out of the building for a 61-42 win. It was the Gators’ third-straight victory — all against SEC opponents — and helped even their conference record at 3-3 in the waning days of January.

UF has been without star center Colin Castleton for the past two games but it has hardly made much of a difference as the rest of the team has seemingly coalesced in his absence. The emergence of former five-star prospect Kowacie Reeves as a legitimate option on the floor has helped replace the 6-foot-11-inch big man’s production — a trend that hopefully continues after Castleton eventually returns.

While Florida remains shut out of the major polls, the wins have them moving up the NET rankings in recent weeks, climbing up to No. 34 after the Vandy win marking a five-spot improvement since yesterday and a six-spot improvement since our last update after the Mississippi State Bulldogs game.

The Gators continue their rough five-day stretch on Monday with a makeup game on the road against the Ole Miss Rebels followed by a home game against the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday. If the Orange and Blue can take advantage of a slumping Rebels team and somehow sneak up on the Vols, the NCAA Tournament picture will be looking much better than before.

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3 takeaways as Florida blows out Vanderbilt to get back to .500 in SEC play

Florida took the all-time series lead over Vanderbilt for the first time in program history.

Florida had its most convincing win in SEC play at home on Saturday against the Vanderbilt Commodores. In the team’s second game without star center Colin Castleton available due to a shoulder injury, the Gators pulled away for a 61-42 win in front of the O’Connell Center crowd.

UF led by just three at the half, but a big second half in which it outscored the Commodores (10-8, 2-4 SEC) by 16 and held Vandy’s scorers in check was enough to get the win.

The Gators (12-6, 3-3 SEC) are back to .500 in league play after losing their first three games, and they capture the all-time lead in the series over Vanderbilt for the first time ever, to boot. Florida is set to play four games in a week with the make-up against Ole Miss up next on Monday night, but it has some momentum on its side after a rough schedule to open its conference slate. Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s game.

Free Throws: Quick hits from Florida’s blowout win over Vandy

Pat Dooley gives his quick reactions to Florida’s big SEC win over Vandy.

Vandy, which has the SEC’s leading scorer in Scottie Pippen Jr., scored no baskets in the final 10:47 of the game.

Zero. None. Nada.

Pippen Jr. played only five minutes of the first half because of foul trouble and the Gator defense never let him get into any kind of rhythm. He finished the game with six points on 1-for-10 shooting.

Florida did revert to form – and not the good kind – offensively. The Gators shot 20 times from behind the arc in the first half and finished the game shooting 25% from three. And they were 6 of 13 from the free-throw line after shooting 80% against Mississippi State Wednesday night.

Didn’t matter.

The Gators did not close the first half well and led by only three after a bad Myreon Jones turnover led to a Vanderbilt runout basket. But they started the half on a 12-0 run and never looked back.

As a result, the Gators are back to .500 in the SEC at 3-3 and 12-6 overall.

They obviously did it on defense by holding Vanderbilt to three second-half field goals. Florida also had only eight turnovers.

Tyree Appleby led Florida in scoring with 11 points (eight in the first half) but he needed 10 shots to get there. No other Florida player scored in double figures.

Didn’t matter.

Playing its second straight game without injured center Colin Castleton, UF still had three blocked shots and won the battle of the boards against a team that is last in the SEC in rebounding.

Florida shot 38% for the game. Wednesday night’s hero Anthony Duruji had only seven points, four turnovers and faced foul trouble.

Didn’t matter.