THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2011
JU faces Florida in Thanksgiving weekend matchup
With two straight wins, the Jacksonville University men’s basketball team returns to the road for the first of two straight games against nationally ranked teams on Friday as the Dolphins travel to face No. 9/10 Florida.
Tipoff for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at the O’Connell Center. The game will be televised on Sun Sports and will be broadcast on 1010XL, with the Bono’s Barbecue Pregame Show starting at 6:45 p.m.
Jacksonville (2-2) is looking for a repeat performance from its last trip to face the Gators.
The Dolphins shocked Florida by rallying to tie late in regulation and then never trailed in overtime for a 71-68 victory, snapping a 12-game losing streak to the Gators that dated back to 1994.
JU faces a Florida team that has been dominant at home. The Gators (3-1) have won both home games by more than 30 points this season. The Gators have five players averaging double figures in scoring and are hitting 11.8 3-pointers per game.
For the first time in the Cliff Warren era, JU enters the game with five players averaging double figures in scoring as well. In four games this season, three Dolphins have scored at least 20 points in a game – most recently, Glenn Powell’s 20 point night against Bethune-Cookman, with 18 coming in the second half.
While Glenn’s big night was impressive, Jacksonville’s ball control was a major improvement. The Dolphins turned the ball over just 12 times against the Wildcats, with just four coming in the second half.
How important is ball control? The Dolphins turned the ball over just 13 times in the win over Florida last season.
That ball control also has proven to be valuable for JU this season. The Dolphins are shooting 47.9 percent from the floor this season, hitting at least 50 percent of their shots in at least one half of all four contests thus far.
Conversely, Florida’s defense was limited its opponents second chances – holding a +11.5 rebound advantage while forcing an average of 16 turnovers per game.
Following the trip to Gainesville, the Dolphins will turn their focus on another top 25 road trip – flying to face Marquette on Monday night.