Three pathways for Florida basketball to defeat Missouri on the road

Gators are favored by 2.5 points against the Tigers
Jan 16, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators guard Walter Clayton Jr. (1) moves the ball
Jan 16, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators guard Walter Clayton Jr. (1) moves the ball / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Florida basketball took the court it did not go well. The Gators were ran out Knoxville as their NCAA Tournament hopes continue to sag.

But tonight brings a prime opportunity for the Gators to get back in the win column as they take on an opponent that is struggling even more than Florida in conference play.

Florida Basketball: Saturday Night Hoops

The Free Throw Battle

We highlighted prior to the Tennessee match up that free throws could be huge given Florida's struggles from the stripe. And to Florida's credit, they 21/25 from the charity stripe.

Tonight the Gators take on a Missouri squad that struggles to keep teams off the free throw line. Missouri commits a personal foul on 26% of their defensive possessions, 286th in the country. As a result of constantly sending teams to the free throw line, 22% of the points they have given up have been from the free throw line. That's 314th in the country.

Pass The Ball

At times, Florida's defensive rotations have been a problem in 2023-24. But despite that perception, the Gators are still 76th in opponents assists per game.

Missouri meanwhile have genuine issues if one can get them moving, giving up 13.1 assists per game. That's 179th in the country. And given that Florida is averaging about three more assists per game this year than they did last season there should be opportunities to make the extra pass and get open looks.

Second Chances

We have chronicled throughout the year that offensive rebounding is a strength for Florida, and tonight they have a real chance to flex their muscle.

The Gators enter tonight 4th in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, but just as telling is the fact that Missouri enters the contest as a poor defensive rebounding team.

Collecting just 69% of opponents misses, Missouri is 305th in the country at defensive rebounding.