Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/29/12
Game time: Thursday at 9 p.m. ET TV: ESPN2 Florida has staked an early claim as one of the nation's best teams with its first 5-0 start since the 2009-10 season. But after their first five wins came by an average of 23.8 points, the seventh-ranked Gators will likely learn much more about themselves during a tougher three-game stretch. It begins Thursday night when they host Marquette in an SECBig East Challenge matchup and a rematch of a regional semifinal in last season's NCAA tournament, which Florida won 68-58. After facing the Golden Eagles, Florida will play games at Florida State and at No. 9 Arizona. "After November and December are done, we'll look at our non-conference schedule and say there isn't a style, system or situation we haven't really had a chance to get exposed to," coach Billy Donovan said. "I'd think ours has to be one of the more challenging non-conference schedules in the country." The Gators appear to have more stability at point guard after Scottie Wilbekin registered career highs with 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds in a 79-66 home win against UCF on Friday. Wilbekin was expected to be the team's starter entering the season but was initially suspended for an undisclosed violation. His performance against the Knights in his third game back might have been enough to vault him into the starting lineup. Mike Rosario's spot could be in jeopardy after he struggled again. He has 13 assists and 12 turnovers while starting all five games, but he played only four minutes in the second half against UCF after two quick turnovers. "I'm at a point with him right now where I just can't deal with the turnovers," Donovan said. "There's good and bad turnovers. There are turnovers where you're trying to make the right play, and for whatever reason you don't quite execute the pass. But then you have what I would consider a high-stepping, one knee up, look away, up in the air, that's in the third row. "We're not going to tolerate it." Marquette (5-1) is coming off a 79-46 win against Maryland-Baltimore County on Monday in which it trailed 31-30 with 16:52 left. The Golden Eagles went on a 37-5 run and shot 71.4 percent in the second half to coast to victory. "(Coach Buzz Williams) just came in the locker room and said everybody's watching us and everybody's watching this game," said freshman Steve Taylor Jr., who scored a season-high nine points. "So play like us and we'll get it done." Jamil Wilson scored a game-high 15 points and is 14 of 17 from the field over his last two contests. Marquette's formidable bench - averaging 35.0 points - came up big again, totaling 39. Davante Gardner continues to lead the team with 14.0 points per game despite not starting. Scoring against Florida's stingy defense, which ranks among the country's best allowing 33.7 percent field-goal shooting and 48.4 points per game, could be a challenge, though Vander Blue's return should help. Williams sat Blue against UMBC after he sprained his knee last week at the Maui Invitational. Blue ranks second on the team with 11.4 points per game. Florida leading scorer Kenny Boynton (16.2 ppg) scored a season-high 24 against UCF three days after spraining his ankle. He played with a tightly taped ankle and received a pain-killing injection before the game. Boynton shot 2 of 10 and scored 11 points in these teams' NCAA tournament matchup as Florida held Marquette to 30.8 percent shooting. The top three scorers in that game - Florida's Bradley Beal and Marquette's Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom - are now gone. "Two totally different teams," Donovan said. "The one thing that's going to be the same for Marquette is Buzz Williams has got a system and a style of play that he wants to play. ... For us, that's what you're getting prepared and ready for."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Russell Westbrook gets emotional thanking family in MVP speech

Malcolm Brogdon makes history by beating out Saric, Embiid for Rookie of the Year

Bill Russell delivers epic line after winning NBA lifetime achievement award

Draymond Green ensemble at NBA Awards must be seen to believe

Victor Oladipo gets schooled by young boy at basketball camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker