Three observations following UF’s 65-59 loss to Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday night at the O’Connell Center:
— Florida point guard Chris Chiozza did some good, and some bad down the stretch. Chiozza hit a driving layup to cut Loyola-Chicago’s lead to 61-59 and forced a tie up that gave Florida a chance to hit a tying basket with 35.6 seconds left. But with a shade over a minute remaining and Florida down 61-59, Chiozza had an open path to the basket where he could have at least gotten fouled, but instead dished to the wing to guard Jalen Hudson, who missed a semi-contested 3-point attempt. “We need to learn to get to the rim,” Florida coach Mike White said. “We need to learn to get fouled more.”
— Florida junior center Kevarrius Hayes remains missing in action. Hayes’ defense has regressed, as evidenced by allowing Loyola-Chicago big man Cameron Krutwig to burn him inside for 14 points and 8 rebounds. Offensively, Hayes provided little, going 2 of 6 from the floor with 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 3 turnovers. The controversial tip-in that was waved off that could have tied the game late may have been a bad call, but given the situation, Hayes may have been better served to secure the rebound and go back up for the easy dunk. White said he asked crew chief Joe Lindsay about the call, “He said he had a good look,” White said. “I asked if it could be reviewed. He said it couldn’t.”
— Florida needs to find a way to get the ball moving again. The Gators had just 7 assists for the second straight game and continued to try to create too much off the dribble. Florida is not the greatest driving team and took some wild shots as evidenced by some of the individual shooting percentages — Egor Koulechov went 3 of 13 from the floor, Jalen Hudson went 3 of 11 from the floor and KeVaughn Allen went 3 of 11. When 3-pointers aren’t falling, Florida needs to move the ball better and take better 2s.