tampabay.com

TODAY: No. 20 Florida at Arkansas

By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published February 2, 2008


When/where: 3; Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville

TV/radio: Ch. 38; 620-AM

Records: UF 18-3, 5-1 SEC; Arkansas 15-5, 4-2

Notable: This is the first regular-season meeting between former colleagues and close friends Billy Donovan and John Pelphrey, who have known each other since Donovan was an assistant at Kentucky and Pelphrey was a player (1990-92). Pelphrey was an assistant under Donovan for eight seasons at UF. The Gators are tied atop the SEC East with Tennessee, which Florida faces Tuesday in Knoxville, but must avoid overlooking the Razorbacks. The Gatorshave had a week off since their upset blowout over then-ranked Vanderbilt, and Donovan said he's keenly interested in how they'll respond after having their rhythm disrupted. The challenge is to go into a hostile Bud Walton Arena and play the way they have during a three-game winning streak: solid defense, good 3-point shooting and strong play in the middle from center Marreese Speights and big-time shooting from freshman Nick Calathes, who is averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 assists in SEC play.

Antonya English, Times staff writer