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Kentucky Wildcats vs Florida Gators: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Exactech Arena in Gainesville, FL

When: Saturday, February 2nd at 4:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

Kentucky Wildcats (Away)

Head Coach: John Calipari {Overall: 17-3 .850 W-L% | Conference: 6-1, 3rd in SEC}

The Kentucky Wildcats are coming off of a great performance. When the Wildcats took on Vanderbilt in their last match it was a route. The Wildcats couldn’t be stopped as they shot 56% from the field and 54% from three on the way to an 87-52 blowout win.

It’ll be another opportunity for Kentucky to show that they are a threat at the national level when they take on Florida. No team in the country is on a better run than the Wildcats at this moment. Kentucky has won three consecutive matches against top 25 ranked opponents, two of those wins are by 20 and 35 respectively.

Kentucky has found their identity defensively. The Wildcats’ perimeter players have done excellently to limit opposing offences, while PJ Washington has proved himself to be a machine on the boards. They are a diverse team that will force Florida into matchups they’re uncomfortable with.

Florida Gators (Home)

Head Coach: Michael White {Overall: 12-8 .600 W-L% | Conference: 4-3, 5th in SEC}

The Florida Gators remain as Kentucky’s last great test on the road this season. Led by Canadian freshman Andrew Nembhard, the Gators’ backcourt has performed spectacularly so far this season.

Unfortunately for the Florida Gators they are lacking on the inside. An injury to Keith Stone and the transfer of Chase Johnson has left the Gators thin up front.

The Gators will be in it tough to begin this game. Florida is very dependent on their guard play, but the Wildcats have a slew of capable defenders on the wing. If Nembhard’s passing can unlock the Wildcats defence, Florida may be able to steal one.

Kentucky Roster Notes

G Quade Green – 14 Dec 2018 – (transfer) is out for the season.

Florida Roster Notes

C Gorjok Gak – 6 Nov 2018 – (knee) is out indefinitely.

F Keith Stone – 21 Jan 2019 – (ACL) is out for the season.

F Chase Johnson – 4 Jan 2019 – (transfer) has left the team.

Head-to-Head: Keldon Johnson vs Andrew Nembhard

Keldon Johnson

Guard | 6-6, 211lb (198cm, 95kg) | Oak Hill Academy | South Hill, VA | Freshman

14.5 PPG | 1.6 APG | 5.1 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .513 FG% | .426 3P%

Andrew Nembhard

Guard | 6-5, 191lb (196cm, 86kg) | Montverde Academy | Aurora, ON, Canada | Freshman

7.3 PPG | 6.0 APG | 2.9 RPG | 1.3 SPG | 0.0 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .361 FG% | .333 3P%

Two ball-dominant players with very different means of operating, go head-to-head when Kentucky takes on Florida. Keldon Johnson is an explosive wing player who loves to attack the basket. On the other side, Andrew Nembhard is a pure point guard who will look to create opportunities for his team.

Keldon Johnson has been excellent in his freshman season for the Wildcats. Concerns about his shooting have been dispelled entirely as Johnson shoots 43% from range and 56% from within the arc. One-on-one, Johnson is one of the most dangerous threats in the country. Florida will have a difficult time containing him.

Andrew Nembhard may be the key to unlocking the stifling Kentucky defence. With his ability to penetrate the lane and subsequently make the correct pass, Nembhard has the singular ability on the Gators to force the Kentucky defence to move where he wants. If Nembhard can find his shooting range, it’ll be a dangerous bonus.

Kentucky Wildcats at Florida Gators Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Kentucky Wildcats favoured over the Florida Gators by 2.5, with a 105 for the over and a 115 for the under.

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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

805 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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