The first rematch of the 2019-20 season arrives for the Florida Gators on Saturday in Mississippi (2 p.m., ESPN2 or WatchESPN) — and normally, it’d probably be heartening for the Gators to be seeing an Ole Miss squad that they handled by 16 at home on this day.
But the Rebels that Florida ran over in the O’Dome didn’t have Breein Tyree.
And on this day, they will.
Whether Tyree’s playing turns out to be fatal for Florida remains to be seen, but his presence in Kermit Davis’s lineup is legitimately terrifying. Tyree is the SEC’s No. 3 scorer — just behind No. 2 Anthony Edwards, who torched Florida for 25 minutes before the Gators’ stunning comeback on Wednesday — and is coming off a 38-point assault on a South Carolina defense that isn’t bad, even if it isn’t up to typical Frank Martin standards.
It was Tyree’s third 30-point effort of the year, and followed a 36-point performance against LSU in being highly efficient even without a lot of damage from distance: The diminutive senior went 9-for-16 on twos, 3-for-5 on threes, and 11-for-13 at the line, and was thus effectively unstoppable on the day.
Florida’s had success against Tyree in his career. Last season, he got 20 in a loss, going 3-for-9 from three; in two meetings in 2018 and 2017, he had just a combined 10 points, though the 2018 meeting did result in a 78-72 win for Ole Miss.
But if Florida’s going to continue to pick up critical wins during a downhill stretch of its schedule, then it’s probably going to need to have more success against the Rebels’ occasionally indomitable scorer.
Good luck, Gators.