Aggies have attention of No. 10 Florida

Aggies have attention of No. 10 Florida

If No. 10 Florida needed something to keep it from overlooking Texas A&M, senior Elston Turner provided it on Saturday. The starting guard for the Aggies posted 40 points as they handed Kentucky its first conference loss in Lexington under John Calipari. The Gators will now play in front of a charged crowd, with the football team honored at halftime, in College Station on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

"He's a really good player. He can do it a lot of different ways," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "The thing that was so impressive to me about him scoring in the game against Kentucky, when you see a guy score 40 points, the first thing I look at immediately is the shot attempts. His number of shots didn't even equal (half) the amount of points he scores. He scored 40 points on 19 shots."

The Gators actually know what Elston Turner can do. They saw it with their own eyes last season. Florida beat Texas A&M by 20 last season at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla. Turner scored 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line.

That first-hand experience showed the Gators how good Turner can be, despite the game being a blowout. Going on the road to play the Aggies in College Station, Florida will have to find a way to do something Kentucky couldn't — slow Turner down.

"You score like that when one, you get to the free-throw line and you shoot a high percentage from the 3-point line, and then you have the ability to play inside of the 3-point line, whether it's pull-up jumpers or drives to the basket or runners or floaters," Donovan said. "From the scoring standpoint, that game was pretty efficient at the college level to score 40 points like that."

Turner's strong game against Kentucky turned heads in the Florida locker room. The Gators were playing at LSU at the same time, so they didn't see the game live, but the box score was surprising.

"You wouldn't think anyone could do that at Rupp Arena, but it just shows that you've got to go out there and compete every single night, that no game is given to you," Florida center Patric Young said. "We've got to go out there and stick to our scouting and try and win the best we can."

The win over Kentucky moved Texas A&M to 12-3 on the season and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Senior forward Ray Turner is the second leading scorer at 11.4 points per game and leads the team with 6.5 rebounds. Junior guard Fabyon Harris is also averaging 10.5 points.

The Aggies are 199th in the country with 66.7 points scored per game and 45th in the country with 59.4 points allowed per game.

The Gators will look at the film from the matchup between the two teams last season, but different players on the team make it hard to rely only on that.

"There will be some things from that game that we can look at it terms of philosophy, but their personnel has changed some, just as our personnel's changed some," Donovan said. But it's a team that's playing very, very good basketball. A team that's had some really good quality wins. Going on the road there on Thursday will be, without question, a great challenge."

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