Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: Florida (#2)

Lineup notes

Florida:

(no KenPom charts this time, sorry; I had to finish this up before Sunday morning breakfast)

  • They’ve rotated starting lineups in and out for a bit, but the latest has been Appleby, Locke, Mann, Duruji, and Castleton.
  • Rotation has been pretty slim as of late; it rarely goes deeper than seven in the second half (Lewis and Payne). You might see some Osayi Osifo or Samson Ruzhentsev minutes, but not likely.

Tennessee:

  • You typically don’t fix a starting lineup until something is broken, but everything is broken, so who knows what you’ll see. Based on last game’s minutes, perhaps Bailey, Springer, Johnson, Pons, Fulkerson will stay.
  • Based on logic and seeing that John Fulkerson, as beloved as he is, is not the same player, you should probably start preparing to play Yves Pons 35+ minutes (barring foul issues) in every game the rest of the way. But what do I know?

Key matchups

Colin Castleton vs. John Fulkerson (and Yves Pons). Castleton didn’t play last time out, and perhaps it’s good he didn’t, because Tennessee might have lost by 40. Fulkerson was atrocious in the previous Florida game, and I think every fan is desperate for him to have a good game heading into the postseason.

Tre Mann vs. Keon Johnson/Jaden Springer. This is probably a game where both will rotate on the main Mann matchup. Mann and Castleton are the only Florida players I’d fear in terms of consistent ability to take over a game, and Mann is the only player that can really consistently score at all three levels on the roster. Johnson and Springer need to defend like their lives depend on it.

Tyree Appleby vs. Santiago Vescovi. Less of a “Appleby is really good” thing than a “Santiago Vescovi cannot go 1-for-6 from three again” thing.

Three predictions

  1. Tennessee achieves at least a 30% OREB%;
  2. Florida turns it over on 20%+ of their possessions;
  3. Tennessee 69, Florida 65.

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