Nine days ago at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the University of Florida and Florida State football teams met, both sporting losing records and struggling to score points.
On Monday across the street, at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the UF and FSU basketball teams will match their lofty records and high-octane offenses in a game that should be 40 minutes of quality entertainment.
FSU is on a three-game winning streak against the Gators.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said FSU guard Terance Mann, who leads a team with five players averaging in double figures with 15.3 points per game.
“We’re at home and we’ve got to protect our house,” said Florida guard Jalen Hudson, whose 21.7 points per game leads four Gators in double figures. “I’m excited about it.”
Start with the fact that the Seminoles are 6-0 and the sixth-ranked Gators are 5-1, with the only loss coming to top-ranked Duke last Sunday in the championship game of the Phil Knight Invitational. The combined 11-1 record matches the best for the two teams since 2014, when they each had the same marks entering the game.
There has been only one other time, when they were a combined 9-1 when they played in 2011, that the two teams have played a total of at least 10 games with less than two losses at the time of their meeting.
Then there’s the quality of the basketball, at least from an offensive standpoint, being played by both teams.
The Gators lead the nation in scoring with 99.5 points per game and are sixth in 3-point shooting percentage at .460. In addition to Hudson’s performance, Egor Koulechov is averaging 17.7 points.
Florida has scored 100 or more points in four of their six games.
The Seminoles are scoring 88.8 points per game, 23rd in the nation and are shooting .517, 16th in the nation. Phil Cofer is scoring 14.2 points per game to back up Martin.
UF coach Mike White said the Seminoles cut a familiar sight.
“Every year they’re going to play deep and they’re long and athletic and they play really hard,” he said. “It’s still early, just like us, to determine what will be their identity and how good they’ll be but they’re off to really good start.”
Cofer predicted a high-scoring game.
“It’s probably going to be a track meet,” he said. “They’re dogs, just like us. We’re going to go after each other and it’s going to be crazy.”