No. 3 Florida ready for Alabama

No. 3 Florida ready for Alabama

Less than three weeks ago, the Gators left Tuscaloosa with a six-point road win in the Southeastern Conference. While moving to 5-0 in the league on January 23, Florida returned to Gainesville knowing it had plenty to work on. The Alabama defense held the Gators to 37.7 percent from the field, and the film for that game has been the focus this week.

"We'll have to make some adjustments and some changes to some certain things that they did against us that was effective," Billy Donovan said. "They've kind of moved their lineup around some a little bit different than how we played against them last time.

The first matchup also featured what Donovan saw as more hustle from the Crimson Tide. He recalled them coming away with "a lot" of the 50-50 balls to create extra possessions and points. Alabama also created problems with its pressure defense, an area the Gators have focused on this week during practice.

The Crimson Tide played zone that stifled the Florida offense, and the Gators are preparing to see more of it on Saturday. They shot 28 three-pointers in Tuscaloosa because of the defense Alabama played.

Alabama guard Retin Obadohan, who is second on the team with 11.4 points per game, will also play on Saturday after missing the first meeting between the two teams. Donovan referred to him as a "physical, strong" player that will challenge the Gators.

"A couple of weeks ago, their team is probably going to look a little bit different in this game tomorrow than when we played them in the middle of January," Donovan said.

The focus on Saturday will continue to be on freshman Chris Walker. He received a raucous ovation when entering the game for his collegiate debut on Tuesday, and he didn't disappoint. Walker had four points on two alley oop dunks and blocked two shots during his first game in a Florida uniform.

Both of his dunks came on alley oops from fellow freshman Kasey Hill. The two played together in AAU throughout high school, and it was easy to see the chemistry they had. Despite that, Donovan said he would not handle his substitution patterns to make sure both are on the floor at the same time together.

"They were with each other a lot, they've known each other a long time," Donovan said. "I see some of that stuff in practice. I'm not sure Scottie has got that same kind of connectivity with Chris, but I don't think that's something that's hard to pick up. But I'm not going to look at it as, ‘Chris is out there we have to make sure Kasey is out there with him.' I still think they can play without each other and they can play with each other."

INJURY REPORT: Forward Casey Prather continues to deal with his ankle sprain and was in and out of practice on Friday. He still has swelling in the ankle but is cleared to play on Saturday.

The injury has slowed Prather's production. He scored in double figures during every game he played before the last two.

"Everybody handles injuries a little bit differently, and for him, he handles it differently from the standpoint of he sometimes mentally gets consumed with it," Prather said. "It almost becomes something that gets in the way mentally for him."

Prather admitted on Friday that the lift on his ankle isn't the same as it was before the injury.

"Not quite yet," Prather said. "I'm still just working on trying to do treatment, icing, getting game ready stuff like that just to get back 100 percent."

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