Three pathways for Florida Basketball to knock off South Carolina

The Gators are in Columbia for a key SEC game

Florida Gators guard Walter Clayton Jr. (1) shoots for three during the first half. The Florida men
Florida Gators guard Walter Clayton Jr. (1) shoots for three during the first half. The Florida men / Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner / USA TODAY
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Florida Basketball is in the Palmetto State today for a key SEC tilt with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Florida comes into the game ranked 24th with a record of 20-8 while South Carolina is ranked 18th with a record of 23-5.

A victory today will virtually guarantee Florida makes the NCAA Tournament, along with putting the Gators in line for a top four seed in the SEC Tournament.

Here are the three areas Florida can look to exploit.

Florida Basketball: Taste Like Chicken

Just Dribble

At times we have felt Florida resorts to far too much dribbling and the offense stalls out. That narrative still holds true but one thing South Carolina isn't great at is punishing a team that holds on to the ball for too long.

South Carolina gets a steal on 7% of opponent possessions. That's 332nd in the country.

Don't Be Afraid To Foul

Obviously we want Florida to play a clean game and avoid foul trouble, but the free throw issues Florida had early in the year still persist with South Carolina late in the year and the Gamecocks aren't great at making teams pay for sending them to the charity stripe.

South Carolina makes 71% of their free throws. That's 206th in the country. Worse, in their last three games they have only made their free throws at a clip of 62%.

Speed It Up

The Gamecocks love to play a slow tempo game, averaging 66.9 possessions per game. That's 338th in the country.

Meanwhile the Gators as we know like to play far more up tempo with 75.6 possessions per game, currently 15th most in the country.

It will be classic case of which style does Florida want to engage in and whether or not it benefits them to get dragged into a slow, drain the shot clock type of game.