Rhode Island Rams at Florida Gators, Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
Monday, January 3, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Florida -10 1/2
Current Line: Florida -11
Opening Total: 134 1/2
Current Total: 136
Money Line: Florida -650 / Rhode Island +475
The 9-4 Rhode Island Rams travel to Gainesville to take on the 10-3 Florida Gators. The Rams have losses to Pitt, Illinois-Chicago, Providence, and Quinnipiac. They have wins over Charleston, Davidson, and Boston College on the season. The Rams beat Boston College 67-65 last Wednesday. The Rams have won 3 games in a row. Florida has losses to Ohio St and inexplicable losses to Central Florida and Jacksonville on the season. The Gators have wins over Florida St, Kansas St, and Xavier on the season. Florida is dealing with all sorts of injuries Center Vernon Macklin injured his shoulder in the Gator’s 71-67 win at Xavier Friday. Forward Chandler Parsons injured his ankle in the same game. Guard Erving Walker has a hip injury but hasn’t missed any games. Those are three of the Gator’s four leading scorers All three are listed as probable against Rhode Island. Rhode Island and Florida have never met on teh basketball court before. The Gators are 0-6 ATS as a favorite this season.
Rhode Island is outscoring opponents 73-69 on the season. The Rams are shooting 44.7% from the field and 38.2% from 3 point range. Ram opponents are shooting 43.6% from the field. The Rams are shooting 70.4% from the free throw line. Forward Delroy James leads the team in scoring with 19.1 ppg, rebounds with 7.2 a game, and steals with 1.6 a game. He also averages 2.2 assists a game. Forward Orion Outerbridge made his season debut against Boston College. He scored 12 points and blocked 2 shots. Guard Marquis Jones is averaging 10.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, and 1.5 steals a game. Forward Nikola Malesevic is averaging 10.9 points, and 3.8 rebounds a game. He is shooting 58.2% from 3 point range. Guard Akeem Richmond scores 10.6 points a game. Daniel West leads the team in assists with 3.4 a game. The Rams average only 34.9 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of -1.2. They average 12.4 assists and 12.8 turnovers a game. They force 15.2 turnovers a game on defense. The Rams average 6.9 steals and 3.5 blocks a game.
Florida is outscoring opponents 69-59 on the season. The Gators are shooting 46.5% from the field and 32.2% from 3 point range. The Gators are holding opponents to 41.1% shooting from the field. Florida is shooting 65.8% from the free throw line. Senior guard Walker leads the team in scoring with 13.9 ppg and steals with 1.3 a game. He is also averaging 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game. He is shooting 44.6% from 3 point range. Senior guard Kenny Boynton is averaging 12.5 ppg, 2.2 assists, 2.2 rebounds, Senior forward/center Macklin scores 10.4 ppg and leads the team in blocks with 1.1 a game. Forward Parsons averages 9.3 ppg, 6.3 rebounds, and leads the team in assists with 3.4 a game. The Gators average 37.7 rebounds a game have a rebounding margin of +37.7. They average 14 assists and 14.4 turnovers a game. Florida forces 14 turnovers a game. They average 6.6 steals and 4.2 blocks a game.
Florida definitely has the edge in rebounding. The injuries might hamper the banged-up Gators slightly but they still are deeper and more talented than Rhode Island. Both of these teams play in conferences that are wide open and don’t have a clear favorite. Rhode Island could win the Atlantic 10 but will have to contend with Xavier, Dayton, and Temple. The SEC is down a little but still has some strong teams such as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. this is the kind of quality non-conference win that can improve either team’s March resume.
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