THURSDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2009
Dolphins set for home debut against No. 13 Florida
The JU men’s basketball team has faced a daunting schedule in its first four games, all on the road.

With the nation’s hardest schedule according to the Sagarin ratings, the Dolphins will continue their Murderer’s Row slate on Friday as they host No. 13 Florida at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for the home opener.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised on FSN Florida, with JU Sports Network bringing you the action on 1010XL as Barry Milligan calls the play-by-play starting with the Bono’s Barbecue Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m. Fans can also follow on ASun.TV.

“We knew at the beginning of the season we were facing a tough schedule,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We built our schedule to prepare us for conference play. We want to be tested and ready for anything that gets thrown our way when the games take on added importance in the league.”

The Dolphins (0-4) are looking to flash their offensive firepower that showed up at South Carolina. Jacksonville scored 93 points and fell by just four points to the Gamecocks on the road.

But in their last outing, the offense was zapped – scoring just 54 points and hitting less than 35 percent of its shots from the floor. It’s been a problem that has plagued JU in the early going as the Dolphins have hit just 40 percent of their shots in a game once.

Florida comes in red hot, having won seven in a row, including an upset of then-No. 2 Michigan State. It is the fourth time in the Gators history that they have started off 7-0.

“Florida is playing at a high level with a lot of confidence,” Warren said. “Coach Donovan and his staff do a great job of getting their team ready to play.”

Jacksonville is looking to snap an eight-game losing streak to the Gators and a 10-game losing streak to ranked teams. The last JU win against a ranked team came against No. 8 Florida in 1994 in Gainesville.