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Stephen C. O'Connell Center

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O'Connnell Center

Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center has a reputation around the country - enthusiastic and friendly if you're a Gator…noisy, deafening and menacing if you're the opposition. Florida's student section, dubbed the "Rowdy Reptiles", has made the O'Connell Center one of the toughest places to play in the nation. In recent years, ESPN The Magazine dubbed it the "Scariest Place to Play in the Country" in its college basketball preseason issue. ESPN Gameday raved about its atmosphere, placing it with the great venues in sport.

In recent years, a trip to the O'Connell Center hasn't meant a pleasant and fun-filled stay in sunny Florida for visiting clubs. UF is 175-15 (.921) in the O'Connell Center during the last 12 seasons. Billy Donovan is 223-41 (.845) in the building during his 16 years in Gainesville and UF is 122-11 against non-conference opponents in the O'Dome including a 40-game non-conference winning streak that lasted from 1998-2003.

From March 1, 2006 to Nov. 20, 2007 the Gators rolled off a school-record 24 consecutive home wins, one of four streaks of 15+ consecutive home wins in the Donovan era. Under Donovan, UF has put together winning streaks of 24, 20, 19, 17, 15, 13, 12 and 11 in the O'Connell Center.

Built at a cost of $14 million, the O'Connell Center ­- named for former UF President Stephen C. O'Connell (1967-73) - has become the showplace for college basketball in the state of Florida. In 2007-08 Florida shattered a record 226,815 fans flocked through the gates, while UF averaged a school-record 11,826 fans per game in 2006-07 and had over 10,500 fans at every game for the first time ever. The crowds continue to come in, as the Gators posted the two largest crowds in school history during the 2010-11 season, just a week apart from one another as 12,633 fans witness a thrilling victory over Kentucky on Feb. 2, 2011, then just one week later 12,630 saw the Gators defeat Tennessee.  

The O'Connell Center had a $10 million facelift in the summer of 1998 to replace the teflon coated roof with a permanent structure. The project also upgraded the sound and lighting system to give the Gators a state-of-the-art capability for pre-game and in-game activities. Another $2.5 million project upgraded concessions, restrooms and entrance ways in the summer of 1999, while a pair of Daktronics Scoreboards were installed in the fall of 1999. Daktronics then installed four 12' x 16', video boards (10 mm resolution) in the O'Connell Center in time for the 2006-07 basketball -season, at a cost of $2.5 million.

While the O'Connell Center has a reputation as an imposing basketball arena for visiting opponents with its 11,548 seats, the Center is also part of a centrally-located athletic complex. The facilities surrounding the O'Dome include Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field, McKethan Stadium at Perry Field, James G. Pressly Stadium, the Scott Linder Tennis Stadium and the Mark Bostick Golf Course.

Inside the O'Connell Center is the main arena, an indoor track and field facility, one of the fastest swimming pools in the world, a gymnastics area, dance studio, martial arts room, basketball practice courts and strength and conditioning facilities.

The Gator basketball game day locker room features a video area with a wide screen TV and recording and satellite equipment, a locker room featuring private dressing areas for each player, a training room complete with the latest equipment and player meeting areas.

The O'Connell Center also is the site of more than just Gator basketball games. It brings people together for many other sporting, entertainment, academic and business activities. Over the years, the facility has housed concerts, Disney shows, conventions, business exhibits, conferences, banquets, university and high school commencements, SEC and NCAA championship events and has served as a first, second, and third round site for the National Invitation Tournament in 2008 and 2009, as a first and second round site in 1986 and as a first round NIT site in 1992 and 1998.

Stephen C. O'Connell Center Firsts
First Game: Florida vs. East Tennessee, 72-54, Dec. 30, 1980
First Points: Vernon Delancy, Florida (12-foot jumper at 19:42)
First Foul: Tim Strawbridge, Florida (19:20)
First Assist: Vernon Delancy, Florida (19:19)
First Free Throw: Mike Moses (19:04)
First Dunk: Vernon Delancy (10:14)
First Technical: Gator Bench vs. Auburn, Jan. 10, 1981
First Three-Pointer: Joe Lawrence vs. Western Carolina, Dec. 2, 1986
First 100-Point Game: vs. Central Florida, 106-55, Nov. 24, 1984
First 30-point Game: Eugene McDowell (30), vs. Alabama, 86-77, Jan. 26, 1985
First Win: vs. East Tennessee, 72-54, Dec. 30, 1980
First SEC Win: vs. Auburn, 63-59, Jan. 10, 1981
First Loss: vs. LSU, 66-92, Jan. 3, 1981

 

Florida Basketball Home Courts
Site Capacity First Game Last Game Record Pct.
The Gym 1   Jan. 15, 1920 Feb. 26, 1927 18-6 .750
The New Gym 2   Jan. 6, 1928 Feb. 26, 1949 99-76 .562
Florida Gym 3 7,000 Jan. 7, 1950 Feb. 20, 1980 235-109 .689
Stephen C. O'Connell Center 11,548 Dec. 30, 1980 ----- 362-107 .772
Total       715-297 .707

1 Florida's first official gym was located just east of the stadium in the Murphree hall area
2 The "New Gym" which later housed the school of music
3 Alligator Alley which also housed the College of Physical Education and Health

 

Florida Home Basketball Records
Year Record Year Record Year Record Year Record
1915-16 0-0 1942-43 3-4 1967-68 10-1 1991-92 11-4
1919-20 0-0 1944-45 3-8 1968-69 10-1 1992-93 8-3
1920-21 0-1 1945-46 2-7 1969-70 6-4 1993-94 13-0
1921-22 3-0 1946-47 9-1 1970-71 9-5 1994-95 7-6
1922-23 1-0 1947-48 8-4 1971-72 7-5 1995-96 6-6
1923-24 4-1 1948-49 5-7 1972-73 8-3 1996-97 8-6
1924-25 2-1 1949-50 6-4 1973-74 8-3 1997-98 11-4
1925-26 4-1 1950-51 8-2 1974-75 9-4 1998-99 14-1
1926-27 4-2 1951-52 10-1 1975-76 9-4 1999-00 15-1
1927-28 1-8 1952-53 6-3 1976-77 7-4 2000-01 13-2
1928-29 5-5 1953-54 4-6 1977-78 5-4 2001-02 13-2
1929-30 2-0 1954-55 9-2 1978-79 3-8 2002-03 15-1
1930-31 5-3 1955-56 8-2 1979-80 5-6 2003-04 11-4
1931-32 3-3 1956-57 8-3 1980-81 5-6 2004-05 13-3
1932-33 4-1 1957-58 7-3 1981-82 3-7 2005-06 16-2
1933-34 6-1 1958-59 7-5 1982-83 8-6 2006-07 18-0
1934-35 3-4 1959-60 5-7 1983-84 10-4 2007-08 17-4
1935-36 2-3 1960-61 8-0 1984-85 8-4 2008-09 18-2
1936-37 4-5 1961-62 9-2 1985-86 16-1 2009-10 13-4
1937-38 5-3 1962-63 8-4 1986-87 11-1 2010-11 14-3
1938-39 5-1 1963-64 6-5 1987-88 13-2 2011-12 14-2
1939-40 8-2 1964-65 11-2 1988-89 9-3    
1940-41 2-1 1965-66 8-3 1989-90 5-7    
1941-42 4-5 1966-67 10-1 1990-91 6-6    

 

Overall Home Record: 715‑297 (.707)
Most wins in single season: 2006-07 (18)
Record in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center: 362-107 (.772)
Longest Home Win Streak: 24 games (2006-07)

Record Attendance
Season: 627,779 - 2006-07 - 40 games (15,694 avg.)
Season Home: 226,815 - 2007-08 - 21 games (10,801 avg.)
Home Average: 11,826 - 2006-07 - 18 games (212,866)
SEC Home Average: 12,244 - 2006-07 - 8 games (97,953)

Florida Home Game Winning Streaks
24 (March 1, 2006 to Nov. 20, 2007 and ended Nov. 23, 2007 vs. Florida State)
20 (Jan. 25, 2005 to Feb. 4, 2006 and ended Feb. 8, 2006 vs. South Carolina)
19 (Feb. 2, 2002 to Feb. 25, 2003 and ended March 8, 2003 vs. Kentucky)
18 (Jan. 22, 1985 to Feb. 4, 1987 and ended Feb. 9, 1987 vs. Auburn)
17 (March 19, 2008 to Feb. 21, 2009 and ended March 1, 2009 vs. Tennessee)
16 (Feb. 4, 1967 to Feb 21, 1968 and ended Feb. 24, 1968 vs. Mississippi State)
15 (Nov. 26, 1993 to Dec. 10, 1994 and ended Dec. 21, 1994 vs. Jacksonville)
15 (Jan. 27, 2001 to Jan. 16, 2002 and ended Jan. 19, 2002 vs. Georgia)
13 (Jan. 29, 2000 to Dec. 30, 2000 and ended Jan. 17, 2001 vs. Georgia)
12 (Nov. 16, 1998 and ended February 6, 1999 vs. Ole Miss)
11 (Feb. 16, 1999 and ended January 18, 2000 vs. Tennessee)
11 (Feb. 11, 1987 to Jan.27, 1988 and ended Feb. 6, 1988 vs. Auburn)
10 (Jan. 12, 1940 to Dec. 12, 1941 and ended Dec. 15, 1941 vs. Alabama)
10 (Feb. 3, 1951 to Jan. 5, 1952 and ended Jan. 12, 1952 vs. Kentucky)

Florida Non-Conference Winning Streaks
40 (Nov. 16, 1998 vs. Georgia Southern and ended Dec. 10, 2003 vs. Maryland)
28 (Dec. 19, 2004 vs. Georgia Southern and ended Nov. 23, 2007 vs. Florida State)
21 (Dec. 20, 1983 vs. Biscayne and ended Dec. 19, 1988 vs. Miami)
18 (Nov. 27, 2007 vs. Stetson and ended March 24, 2009 vs. Penn State)
17 (Jan. 9, 1964 vs. Miami and ended Jan. 18, 1969 vs. Furman)
16 (Jan. 31, 1930 vs. Stetson and ended Jan. 15, 1934 vs. House of David)
15 (Jan. 13, 1955 vs. Miami and ended Jan. 16, 1958 vs. Miami)
15 (Jan. 6, 1939 vs. Southern and ended Dec. 13, 1944 vs. Cedar Key AAF)

Record vs. All Opponents
Opponent W L   Opponent W L   Opponent W L
Alabama 17 4   Long Island 1 0   Samford 1 0
Alabama State 1 0   Longwood 1 0   San Diego State 1 0
Albany 1 0   LSU 12 11   Savannah State 1 0
American University 2 0   Louisiana Tech 1 0   St. Francis (Pa.) 1 0
Arizona 1 0   Louisville 0 1   St. Leo 2 0
Arkansas 9 2   Maryland 0 1   St. Peter's 1 0
Auburn 18 6   McNeese State 1 0   Siena 1 0
Augusta 1 0   Miami (Fla.) 6 1   South Alabama 1 1
Belmont 1 0   Michigan State 1 0   South Carolina 16 6
Biscayne 3 0   Mississippi 16 4   South Florida 7 0
Bethune-Cookman 5 0   Mississippi State 17 6   Southern 1 0
Bradley 1 0   Mississippi Valley 1 0   Southern Mississippi 1 0
Charleston Southern 5 0   Missouri State 1 0   Southern Utah 1 0
Coastal Carolina 3 0   Missouri Kansas City 1 0   Stetson 14 1
Creighton 1 0   Montana State 1 0   Syracuse 0 1
Depaul 1 0   Morehead State 2 0   Tennessee 21 12
Duquense 1 0   Morgan State 1 0   Tennessee-Chattan. 1 0
East Tennessee State 1 0   New Orleans 2 0   Tennessee Tech 1 0
Eastern Illinois 1 0   New Hampshire 2 0   Texas 1 2
Eastern Kentucky 2 0   Nicholls State 1 0   Texas A&M 1 0
Florida A&M 11 0   North Carolina A&T 1 0   Texas Christian 1 0
Florida Atlantic 3 0   North Carolina Cent. 1 0   Toledo 1 0
Florida Gulf Coast 1 0   North Carolina State 1 0   Towson State 1 0
Florida International 1 0   North Dakota State 1 0   Troy 1 0
Florida State 11 5   North Florida 3 0   Tulane 1 0
Georgetown 0 1   Northeastern 1 0   UAB 1 0
Georgia 22 11   UNC Wilmington 2 0   UCF 8 0
Georgia Southern 2 0   Ohio State 2 2   VMI 1 0
High Point 3 0   Penn State 0 1   Vanderbilt 26 7
Howard 1 0   Pittsburgh 0 1   Villanova 0 1
Illinois 0 1   Prairie View A&M 1 0   Wake Forest 0 1
Jackson State 1 0   Presbyterian 1 0   Washington 1 0
Jacksonville 11 2   Providence 1 0   Western Carolina 1 0
Kansas 0 1   Radford 1 0   Wichita State 1 0
Kent State 1 0   Rhode Island 1 0   Xavier 0 1
Kentucky 14 19   Rutgers 2 0   Yale 1 0
Liberty 1 0   Sam Houston 1 0        

 

Top Attendance In UF History
Opponent Attendance Date Result
1. Kentucky 12,633 2/5/2011 W 70-68
2. Tennessee 12,630 2/12/2011 W, 61-60
3. Ohio State 12,621 12/23/2006 W, 86-60
4. Kentucky 12,618 1/12/2010 L, 77-89
5. Kentucky 12,614 3/4/2007 W, 85-72
6. Kentucky 12,609 2/4/2006 W, 95-80
7. Kentucky 12,602 3/6/2005 W, 53-52
8. FSU 12,599 11/25/2005 W, 74-66
9. Alabama 12,598 2/14/2007 W, 76-67
10. Kentucky 12,581 3/8/2003 L, 67-69
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