LSU vs Florida : What’s at stake for LSU basketball at Florida? Shot to get a step closer to school history
Event: College Basketball
Team: Lsu vs Florida
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2018
LSU vs Florida Live
In the aftermath of the LSU basketball team’s overtime loss to Florida two weeks ago, Will Wade gave the Tigers an extra dose of reality.
As if an 82-77 homecourt setback to an unranked team wasn’t enough to swallow that night, Wade delivered this bit of sobering news: Florida is the type of team that will end LSU’s dream season in the NCAA tournament.
It was a warning he hopes hits home, especially when LSU plays its first game as a top-10 team in more than 12 years, in the rematch with Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Exactech Arena.
No. 10 LSU (24-5, 14-2 Southeastern Conference) can take another step toward its first regular-season league title since 2009 by turning the tables on Florida (17-12, 9-7) and clinching no worse than the second seed for the SEC tournament.
“There’s a lot to play for Wednesday,” Wade said. “What I’m more interested in is, Can we be a lot better against a team like this that’s given us problems? It’s kind of been a tough team to play.”
As if there was a need for extra motivation, his team can become the first in program history to go 9-0 on the road in conference play.
In Wade’s eyes, that’s all that counts for now because it’s against one of those teams that pose problems from the opening tip.
“Gritty, grimy, tough, defensive-minded teams that are very physical,” he said of the kind of team that gives LSU fits. “Like I’ve said, this is a tough team for us to play.
“It’s a tough matchup. … We’re going to need to show we’ve improved in the past two weeks, and we’ve gotten better and can handle what they throw at us a lot better than we did the first time around.”
Florida also defeated LSU 73-64 a year ago in Wade’s first season with the Tigers, giving him a close-up look at what has slowed his team in its tracks.
The first problem is that Florida allows a league-low 63.1 points per game; the Gators also rank fourth in field-goal defense at 42.1 percent.
In the first meeting, LSU scored 64 points in regulation and shot just 42.9 percent from the field.
“They throw us off rhythm. … You’re not as in rhythm all night,” Wade said. “You can’t just dial stuff up all the time like when you’re in rhythm. You’re always out of rhythm.
“You’ve got to be able to play out of rhythm, and it takes a different type of team to be able to do that. Hopefully, we can make that adjustment and play that way.”