Date: Tuesday, February 18
Time: 6:00pm CDT
TV/Streaming: SEC Network
All-Time Series: Florida leads 12-25
Most Recent Matchup: March 2019, Florida won, 66-50.
2019-20 Record: 16-9 (8-4)
Head Coach: Mike White (5th season, 105-62)
Year five of the Mike White era at Florida has been a perplexing one. The Gators are wildly inconsistent but find themselves in position for an NCAA Tournament berth. Florida was ranked #6 in the preseason and haven’t lived up to those expectations. What has been perplexing is that it has not been just one area of inconsistency. One game the Gators look great offensively then struggle the next game. The same can be said for their defense. Many fans have questioned the effort and energy of the team.
Kerry Blackshear was the best graduate transfer available on the market last offseason. Eric Musselman was able to get a visit from Blackshear without having ever coached a game at Arkansas. That was impressive for the Arkansas staff, but Blackshear decided to play for his home state school. He would have made a huge difference on this Arkansas team.
Florida does not get to the free throw line often. In SEC play, they rank 13th in free throw attempts. That has been maybe the biggest issue for Arkansas when playing on the road. It will be key in Tuesday’s game.
2019-20 Record: 16-9 (4-8)
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)
I was in Bud Walton Arena this past Saturday. The final tip by Abdul Ado was an absolute heart breaker. It really felt like a game that Arkansas had to win. Now that certainly is not the case as the Hogs are still right on the bubble right now. The season is not over.
Isaiah Joe practiced with the team; however, he will not play at Florida. This is strictly speculation, but I would not be surprised to see Isaiah Joe come back against Missouri on Saturday. Arkansas really needs Joe. They need him to eat some minutes and hit some shots. Where this team finishes may depend on how many games Joe is able to play before post-season play begins.
It is hard to pick Arkansas to win this week. The Hogs have not won at Florida since 1995. It is hard to believe that this is the year for that terrible streak to be broken. Arkansas fans have to hope it is one of the perplexing nights from Florida. They are a very talented squad.
I will take Florida in this one.
Score Prediction: Florida 76, Arkansas 65
Like many in our state, I didn’t have a choice in who my favorite team would be growing up. I was raised on Razorback. I remember watching the early season games on ARSN or conference games on JP Sports. My first favorite players were Brandon Dean and Joe Johnson. Great memories. I never thought years ago I would be writing about Arkansas Basketball. I don’t have a journalism background or anything like that. When given the opportunity, I wanted to challenge myself with something new and it has been a blast!