Men's hoops: UF up next

By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
Published March 1, 2008

Florida vs. Mississippi State

When/where: 4 p.m.; O'Connell Center, Gainesville

TV/radio: Ch. 10; 620-AM

Records: UF 21-7, 8-5 SEC; Mississippi State 19-8, 10-3

Scouting report: The Gators return home for the first of their final two regular-season home games and arguably two of their tougher opponents - SEC West champion Mississippi State and SEC East leader Tennessee. In a league where road victories are often hard to come by, Mississippi State is 4-2 away from home. The Gators have struggled against teams with dominant inside play (see LSU, Arkansas) and face a major challenge today. Center Jarvis Varnado leads the nation in blocked shots with 129 and averages eight per game. Look for an intriguing matchup between Varnado and UF center Marreese Speights (13.7 points, 7.9 rebounds), whom MSU coach Rick Stansbury called "one of the better big guys in our league."