All eyes on Andrew Wiggins as Kansas visits Florida

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As Big Blue Nation focuses on Kentucky-Boise State tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN, it’s the first game of the World Wide Leader’s doubleheader that will probably garner a little more attention.

No. 13 Kansas, fresh off a buzzer-beater 75-72 loss at Colorado on Saturday, travels to the land of sun and sand tonight to meet No. 19 Florida at a sold-out O’Connell Center in Gainesville with all eyes on the Jayhawk child-star Andrew Wiggins.

The nation’s No. 1 recruit scored a game-high 22 points, including 17 during a forceful second half, in Boulder. The Canadian with the 44-inch vertical leap is now averaging 15.3 points per game and showing signs he is starting to find his game at the college level.

For his part, Wiggins lamented the fact that with KU down 71-68 late, the former Huntington Prep star was fouled on a three-pointer and missed one of the three free throws.

“I was confident I would make them all,” the freshman said afterward.

Meanwhile, Kansas coach Bill Self is trying to locate a Jayhawk, any Jayhawk, who can make an outside shot. Kansas connected on a measly five of 20 three-pointers on the way to losing to Colorado for the first time in 20 meetings. And over its last four games, Kansas has made just 15 of 65 shots from beyond the arc.

Florida’s Billy Donovan just wants his team to get healthy. The Gators should get freshman guard Kasey Hill back tonight from a high ankle sprain suffered on Nov. 18. And senior Scottie Wilbekin, who has been battling a mild ankle sprain, is also expected to play. Wilbekin was suspended the season’s first six games, so this will be the first time this season that Donovan has been able to play Hill and Wilbekin in the same backcourt.

Florida hasn’t played since a 65-64 loss at Connecticut on Monday. Casey Prather leads the Gators in scoring at 19.1 points per game. Transfer Dorian Finney-Smith is Florida’s leading rebounder at 8.2 per game.

This is another game in the ongoing SEC/Big 12 Challenge which to this point has been dominated by the Big 12 6-2. But Florida has won 20 straight home games. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m, with UK-Boise to follow.

Both teams are 6-2. If Kansas loses tonight, it will have three losses at the earliest point on the calendar since 2005-06.

Photo of Andrew Wiggins by Dante Carrer/AP

SEC men’s basketball schedule for this week

  • Tuesday – Kansas at Florida 7:00 PM ESPN
  • Tuesday – Boise State at Kentucky 9:00 PM ESPN
  • Thursday – Savannah State at Arkansas 8:00 PM
  • Friday – Southeastern Louisiana at Mississippi St. 8:00 PM
  • Saturday – Tennessee at Wichita St. 2:00 PM ESPN2
  • Saturday – Lipscomb at Georgia 4:00 PM
  • Saturday – Middle Tennessee at Ole Miss 5:00 PM CSS
  • Saturday – Kentucky at North Carolina 5:15 PM ESPN
  • Saturday – UL-Monroe at LSU 9:00 PM
  • Saturday – Charleston Southern at Alabama 8:00 PM
  • Saturday – McNeese State at Texas A&M 8:00 PM FSN
  • Sunday – Western Michigan at Missouri 7:00 PM ESPNU

AP Top 25 

  • 1 Arizona (63) 9-0 1,623
  • 2 Syracuse (2) 9-0 1,522
  • 3 Ohio State 8-0 1,453
  • 4 Wisconsin 10-0 1,318
  • 5 Michigan State 7-1 1,311
  • 6 Louisville 8-1 1,262
  • 7 Oklahoma State 8-1 1,160
  • 8 Duke 7-2 1,040
  • 9 Connecticut 9-0 981
  • 10 Villanova 9-0 938
  • 11 Kentucky 7-2 926
  • 12 Wichita State 9-0 884
  • 13 Kansas 6-2 862
  • 14 Baylor 8-1 843
  • 15 Oregon 8-0 831
  • 16 Memphis 6-1 768
  • 17 Iowa State 7-0 606
  • 18 North Carolina 6-2 450
  • 19 Florida 6-2 434
  • 20 Gonzaga 8-1 365
  • 21 Colorado 9-1 330
  • 22 Massachusetts 8-0 326
  • 23 Iowa 9-1 207
  • 24 Missouri 9-0 203
  • 25 San Diego State 7-1 159

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