• 81°

Trojans travel to Gainesville, face Gators on television tonight

Following a couple of wins over Piedmont and William Carey, Troy basketball will face its first real test of the season tonight when it takes on Florida in Gainesville at 6 p.m.

“They are obviously a very talented team,” said Troy head coach Don Maestri. “They’re just a typical SEC team in terms of how much talent they have.”

Florida is led by freshman guard Kenny Boynton and junior center Vernon Macklin.

“Boynton is really an explosive scorer,” Maestri said. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be one of the top scorers in the SEC at the end of the year.”

Macklin, a transfer from Georgetown, has given Florida something to fear inside thus far this year.

“Their big guy, Macklin, has really given them more of an inside presence than they’ve had the past couple of years,” Maestri said.

Florida will play an aggressive style of defense that will be helped by the noise of the home crowd.

“If we handle their pressure defense and the noise of their crowd and just play basketball they way we are capable of playing, I think it will be a very competitive game,” Maestri said.

One of the keys to the game will be rebounding. Troy is averaging 54 rebounds per game, something that is unlikely to continue against the Gators.

“It’s the same old Troy story in that if we shoot real well, we’ll be right in it,” Maestri said. “If our shooting is on and we make rebounding a war with them, we could see some surprising results.”

Fans who are unable to make the trek to Gainesville will be able to watch the game on Troy Cable channel 42.

“We have a lot of fans who have really gotten into supporting this team, and it’s just great that they’ll have a chance to watch us on television,” Maestri said.

Troy and Florida tip off at 6 p.m. tonight.