Tuesday night scouting report
Florida's ability -- or inability -- to force turnovers may be key vs. Kentucky
Both Ohio State and No. 6 Purdue are hoping to avoid a second straight defeat
Texas A&M puts its three-game winning streak on the line at No. 13 Kansas State
Giving you a rundown on the top three games on tonight's college basketball slate:
1. No. 2 Kentucky (16-0, 1-0 SEC) at Florida (11-4, 0-1), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
The ultra-talented Wildcats have been at their best in big games, and have slipped a notch against inferior foes. With a rowdy crowd and ESPN's bright lights, expect John Wall and Co. to again demonstrate why they are Final Four caliber in John Calipari's first year in Lexington. Florida will try to press Kentucky to exploit the one consistent problem the Cats have had -- turnovers. The Gators opened the SEC with a loss at Vanderbilt. Florida shot exceptionally well (13-for-27 from three) against the 'Dores, but failed to force many turnovers and gave up way too many points in the paint (40) -- something that has to be a big concern when facing UK big man DeMarcus Cousins. Florida freshman Kenny Boynton had a season-high 28 in Nashville and will have to be hot again to give Florida a chance.
2. Ohio State (11-5, 1-3 Big Ten) at No. 6 Purdue (14-1, 2-1), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Both teams are in bounceback mode, with Purdue trying to rebound from its first loss of the season at Wisconsin on Saturday, while the Buckeyes are licking their wounds from an 11-point loss at Minnesota. Purdue's Big Three of E'Twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel and JaJuan Johnson have positioned Purdue as a Final Four candidate with terrific seasons to date, and defensive wiz Chris Kramer gives the Boilers the toughness they'll need to navigate the Big Ten schedule. Ohio State's Evan Turner thankfully looks fully recovered from his broken back, as he had 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 38 minutes at Minnesota. The Buckeyes are playing their fourth road game in five Big Ten games and would love to somehow sneak one out before getting five of their next six league games at home.
3. Texas A&M (12-3, 1-0 Big 12) at No. 13 Kansas State (13-2, 0-1), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
When the hoops nation last saw Texas A&M, it was in the aftermath of the grotesque injury suffered by Derrick Roland at Washington that ended the senior guard's season and had many of his teammates in tears while he was attended to on the court. Roland had surgery and is back in Texas, and his teammates have won three in a row in his absence. Leading scorer Donald Sloan had 26 in the Aggies' Big 12-opening win over Nebraska on Saturday. Kansas State is coming off a tense loss at Missouri in which coach Frank Martin hit senior Chris Merriewether on the arm with the back of his hand during a late timeout. The fiery Martin apologized to Merriewether in the locker room and to reporters after the game, and the K-State athletic director issued a statement criticizing Martin's behavior but applauding his apology. The Wildcats' 1-2 guard combo of Jacob Pullen (20.1 ppg) and Denis Clemente (14.3 ppg) will be a major challenge for the Aggies on the road.
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