Over the last few weeks, the Florida Gators have been dinged up, sick, and playing road games all over the SEC.
And they haven’t lost.
Florida is riding a six-game winning streak and owns the only 4-0 record in SEC action — Auburn, at 3-0, is the only other undefeated team in conference play — and has already traveled to Texas A&M and Missouri and come away with wins. This Saturday, the Gators make another trek — this one to Mike White’s old stomping grounds in Oxford, where they face Ole Miss (1 p.m., CBS or CBS streaming).
The Rebels are, per KenPom, the least of the SEC’s 14 teams, ranked No. 91 in adjusted efficiency to bring up the rear of a conference that has improved significantly in recent years. But they’re 2-2 in conference play, and unbeaten at home, having knocked off South Carolina and Mississippi State over the last two weeks. And while Mississippi’s 9-7 record on the year is nothing special, the Rebels’ only really dismaying loss was a home defeat at the hands of Illinois State — the sort of bizarre holiday season faceplant that Florida, too, suffered, when the Gators lost to Loyola of Chicago.
Maybe Ole Miss’s greatest weakness is a lack of truly great skills as a team. Interior defense is as close at the Rebels come — they allow opponents to make under 46 percent of their twos, and block shots well — and that is predicated on some undersized bigs playing taller than their size.
Florida, on the other hand, shoots it well, handles the ball with tremendous care, and has become a stingy outfit inside as Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone have stepped up.
The Gators should win this game, in other words.
Here’s hoping they do.