No. 24 in Florida, Cal for a tip in Fort Myers
The 24th-seeded California and Florida meet on the basketball court for the first time since 1988 when the Golden Bears and Gators duel in the opening round of the four-team beach division in Fort Myers, Florida, tip-off on Monday.
Seton Hall and Ohio State No. 19 duel earlier in the evening, with winners and losers in those two games on Wednesday.
Both previous encounters between the Golden Bears (2-2) and the Gators (3-0) have also been held in tournaments, with Florida doing the majority of the travel.
Led by one of the school’s all-time best players, guard Kevin Johnson, Cal earned an 83-80 victory over Florida at the 1986 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.
The schools paired again at the 1988 Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, where the Golden Bears won again, this time 73-58 over Gators’-led Dwayne Schintzius.
Each team is adapting to a new look this season.
With Treeman moving to the NBA after leading the Gators to the 15-10 season a year ago, Florida has refilled about four double-digit scorers, led by Colin Castleton at 17.3 points per game.
Castleton notched a game-high 19 points when the Gators beat Milwaukee 81-45 Thursday night to reach 3-0 in a season opener that included a 71-55 win over Florida State. The Daytona Beach area first scored 15 points and 16 rebounds in the victory over rival Seminoles, who was ranked 20th in the country at the time.
“Colin played with some mismatch there in the second half, which allowed us some goals, but also allowed us to attack some close-kicks…I thought he was a great attacker,” Gators coach Mike White said.
Meanwhile, Cale struggled early in his attempt to move on from 2021 star Matt Bradley, who moved to San Diego State.
Andre Kelly capped with 29 points and 15 double rebounds with dominant play in second overtime when the Golden Bears survived against guest Southern Utah 75-68 on Thursday.
Cal’s coach, Mark Fox, was very vocal about the performance afterward.
And he assessed, before adding: “Andre had a very productive night, I still think he can play a lot better… We (as a team) have to play a lot better.”
Cal has not faced the SEC since their 75-64 win over Arkansas at NIT in March 2014.
In 2018, Florida pulled Stanford out of the Pac-12 at Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and crushed the Cardinal 72-49.
–Field Media Level