LAKELAND, FL - Under the bright lights of the O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida Southern College men's basketball will take the floor to face the Florida Gators on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition contest. The Moccasins, who were picked to win the Sunshine State Conference last week, are taking on the Gators for the first time since the teams met for an exhibition in 2013.
Florida was selected to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference when the SEC's Preseason Media Poll was announced two weeks ago. Both teams return nearly their entire starting lineups from last year. The Mocs bring back all five starters while Florida brings back four, plus leading scorer Jalen Hudson (15.5 ppg) who started 19 games a year ago. While there will be no live video of Tuesday's game, fans can listen to all the action as Jim Henderson and Chris Burgess are on the call. Live audio of the matchup can be found HERE, while live stats can be accessed by clicking HERE.
DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 | 7 p.m. ET
LOCATION: O'Connell Center (Gainesville, FL)
LIVE AUDIO: SunshineStateConference.TV (free)
Play-by-Play: Jim Henderson
Analyst: Chris Burgess
LIVE STATS: FloridaGators.com
SERIES RECORD: Florida Southern trails, 8-32
REGULAR SEASON OPENER: Nov. 9 vs. West Alabama
• Florida Southern enters the 2018-19 season with all five starters back from last year's squad that finished 21-11 and knocked off top-seeded Morehouse in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Regional.
• It is the first time in Mike Donnelly's 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach that he returns his starting five from the previous year. The Moccasins will be led by the all-conference backcourt of Jonathan Lawton (22.2 ppg) and Brett Hanson (18.0). In all, the Mocs return nearly 82 percent of their scoring from a year ago.
• Florida Southern was picked to win the Sunshine State Conference after receiving six first-place votes in last week's SSC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Moccasins were picked ninth last season but ended up finishing third in the SSC after surpassing all preseason expectations.
• Florida Southern and Florida last played in an exhibition contest on Nov. 1, 2013, when the Gators came away with a 110-88 victory. The teams have not met in the regular season since Dec. 8, 1980.
• The Gators return three starters from last year's squad that went 21-13 and nearly advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Florida defeated St. Bonaventure in the second round and fell by three points to Texas Tech in the third round.
• In addition to its three returning starters, Florida also brings back junior Jalen Hudson, who started 19 games in 2017-18. A Virginia Tech transfer, Hudson led the Gators in scoring (15.5 ppg). Head Coach Mike White is in his fourth season at the helm of the program and has won at least 21 games in each of his first three seasons in Gainesville.