The No. 13 Florida Gators are riding an eight-game win streak heading into their Tuesday home matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Since the win streak began on Jan. 25 some three weeks ago, the Gators (22-5, 12-2 SEC) have seen records fall and players accomplish career-best marks.
There were the two 100+-point conference wins currently bookending the streak, the school-record 19 3-pointers against LSU, the back-to-back-to-back 30+-point wins, the Chris Chiozza triple-double off the bench against Missouri and the 22-point win against Kentucky, to name a few.
But to get a deeper sense of just what this Florida team has accomplished over the past seven games, let’s allow the numbers to do the talking.
Points per game
Before win streak: 76.9
Past eight games: 85.6
Difference: +8.7 points
Points Allowed per game
Before win streak: 66.6
Past eight games: 64
Difference: -2.6 points allowed
Before win streak: +10.3 points per game
Past eight games: +21.6 points per game
Before win streak: 45.0
Past eight games: 46.1
Difference: +1.1 percentage points
Three-point shooting percentage
Before win streak: 33.8
Past eight games: 40.9
Difference: +7.1 percentage points
Free-throw shooting percentage
Before win streak: 71.4
Past eight games: 75.6
Difference: +4.2 percentage points
Field-goal percentage allowed
Before win streak: 42.8
Past eight games: 36.4
Difference: -6.4 percentage points
Three-point shooting percentage allowed
Before win streak: 33.4
Past eight games: 23.0
Difference: -10.4 percentage points
So, what does this all mean?
In the simplest terms, Florida’s offense has found a second wind while the defense has continued to hold its own like it has done all season. Outside of the road win over Auburn, during which the Gators gave up 95 points in an offensive slugfest, UF has not surrendered more than 71 points over its last eight games.
The most noticeable difference in the offense has come from beyond the three-point line. UF has made at least 10 baskets from beyond the arc in four of the past eight games. The team did that once before the streak began -- in its home opener against Arkansas-Little Rock. On the other side of the court, Florida has held opponents to just a 23-percent efficiency in three-point baskets, a 10 percentage point dip from the first 19 games of the season. The Gators held five teams to fewer than five made 3s over the last eight games despite every team attempting at least 16 deep shots.
The Gators face arguably their toughest two-game conference stretch of the season this week when they host South Carolina on Tuesday and then travel to Rupp Arena to face No. 11 Kentucky on Saturday. The fact that Florida is plagued by injuries right now -- John Egbunu (torn ACL) is out for the year and top bench player Canyon Barry (ankle) is a game-time decision on Tuesday -- doesn’t help either. After that, Florida has a home matchup against a gritty Arkansas team on March 1 and a road game against Vanderbilt -- the last team Florida lost to -- on March 4 before postseason play arrives.