Mississippi State basketball: 5 storylines to watch on road vs. Florida Gators

Can Mississippi State basketball capture its first road win against the Florida Gators? Watch as the Bulldogs aim to translate their success at home into a victory in enemy territory.
Jan 20, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Shakeel Moore (3)
Jan 20, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Shakeel Moore (3) / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Mississippi State basketball vs. Florida features two different styles of winning

This matchup is pitting one of the best defenses in the SEC against one of the best offenses in the SEC. The Bulldogs, so far, are holding opponents to just 65.7 points per game while Florida's offense averages 84.8 points per games.

So, what will this game look like?

Mississippi State's offense has struggled to keep up in shootouts. That loss to Kentucky is a great example and the Bulldogs definitely don't want this contest to look like that. But slowing Florida down is easier said than done. The Gators went toe-to-toe with Kentucky earlier this season and could certainly force MSU into a game that its uncomfortable trying to win.

Tolu Smith and Tyrese Samuel could provide an interesting battle

Both the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have some talented big men worth keeping an eye on. Mississippi State basketball fans are certainly familiar with Tolu Smith. It's time for MSU fans to get to know Florida's Tyrese Samuel.

Samuel weighs in at 6-10 and 239 pounds, according to the Florida Gators, and while he's not the focal point of Florida's offense, he's pretty dang productive. Samuel is producing 13.6 points per game and is grabbings 8.3 rebounds a game.

Smith is a bit more productive of a scorer though. Known as one of the best players in the SEC, Smith has drawn plenty of headlines and he's averaging 19.7 points per game all while pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game.

This matchup will be fun to watch.