Beyond the Arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 69-66 loss to Texas Tech

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Florida guard Chris Chiozza (11) drives to the basket against Texas Tech guard Niem Stevenson (10) during the first half of a second-round game at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Dallas, Saturday, March 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Three observations from sixth-seeded UF’s 69-66 loss to third-seeded Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament in Dallas on Saturday night:

— It was fitting, perhaps, that the season came to an end on a KeVaughn Allen missed shot. It capped a disappointing season for the 6-foot-2 junior, who came into the season as a preseason All-SEC selection but wound up shooting 33 percent from 3-point range and averaging a shade over 11 points per game. Allen went 2 of 11 from the floor, which included missing a driving layup. He did have four assists in filling in for Chris Chiozza at point guard when Chiozza had to sit because of foul trouble, but also had four of UF’s 11 turnovers. Allen could have even more point guard responsibilities with Chiozza leaving next season and will need to avoid the kind of loud turnovers that proved costly in UF’s loss vs. Tech.

— Though rebounds were even at 39, Florida missed a few chances to secure some key defensive rebounds late, including one with 1:42 left and Texas Tech up 67-64 that allowed the Raiders to burn more clock.

— Some missed free throws for the Gators proved costly down the stretch, including a missed front end of a one-and-one by Egor Koulechov with Florida down 55-50 and 8:17 left. The Gators needed points there to stave off a Texas Tech run. Eventually, the Raiders extended their lead to 58-50 before UF battled back. Overall, UF went 10 of 15 from the line (66.7 percent) in its final game of the season.

 

67 COMMENTS

  1. Gators lack fluidity on offense. Chiozza foul trouble doomed them. A one dimensional team finally bit the dust as expected. Unless a paint scorer is brought on, the team will repeat the failings of this year. White is on the hot seat. Versatility on offense is imperative. Allen and Hayes let the team down all year. Stone is a keeper and should develop nicely.

  2. The only hot seat coach White might be on is yours. In three years, he’s won 20+ games each year and has gone 4-2 in the NCAAs over the last two years. Don’t forget that the year before he was hired, UF had a losing season and lost the coach who’s name should eventually be on the floor of the O’Dome. He’s done a great job filling the enormous shoes left behind by Billy Donovan, so in my eyes, his seat might as well be made of down feathers. Hopefully some hand strengthening for Hayes, conditioning for Stokes, and the ability to practice against big bodies that knock each other around will help to fortify the inside. I look forward to another positive season next year. All of the Mike White haters need to just pack it up and start getting onto their next UF coach hate…..softball team lost a series this weekend….probably should fire Walton now too.

    • I don’t celebrate mediocrity as you do. You obviously failed to see the inconsistency in the offense attributable to Coaching as well as undeveloped center bugs. Hayes should have always played from the bench, enabling the freshman to develop. Coaches decision. Reliant on Chiozza stymied his freshman replacement. Coaching.

      • Who did they have with experience that could’ve started??? Gak had injury issues throughout the season, and if i’m not mistaken, Keith Stone started quite a few games, but he is a 4 position, and has begun to really grow in that position. If there was another option with experience, he would’ve been playing 15-18 min. off the bench. Thought Hayes actually did progress throughout the season, but he is, what he is. Primarily a rim protector and minutes off the bench….and if you consider another 20-win season, trip to at least the second round of the NCAA (more than 5 equal/higher seeds were able to do) a mediocre season, then you don’t truly appreciate what is here at UF when it comes to men’s basketball…you’re just spoiled at what Billy Donovan built, and Mike White is currently continuing. Hopefully after a couple of more NCAA tourneys and 20-win seasons, people will finally get off coach White’s back.

  3. I can’t make up my mind about the Gators. Who is to blame for all that on-on-one basketball? Who is to blame for all of that Chris Ciozza dribling? Who is to blame that there never is a give and go or a back door play and the players stand around? Is it White or is it the lack of basketball intelligence by the players? But no one can be blamed for Egbunu’s injury. Stuff happens and we will never know what the season would have been like with a legitimate big man.

  4. White has done a good but not great job. Recruit a top rated Center and this will be a very good team moving forward. Can’t simply rely on making jump shots every game. not sure why a Center is not part of the upcoming recruiting class

  5. NCAA magic was in full-effect last year against Wisconsin. Thank You Cheese! It will forever live in Gator folklore! This year U.F. made mistakes, but still made the NCAA’s, finished 3rd in a very TOUGH S.E.C.!
    So, thank you Gators! Gators for life! Mike White is a great coach who will only grow into a better one each season!

    • Exactly! Gator for life. White has done a great job with what he’s got and the injuries. They could have easily won this game and been in the round of 16 (why did Kalashnikov dribble that last shot instead of shooting immediately, he was unguarded?).

  6. What is it with Allen? It seems he has monumentally digress from his play last year. He really never was a good point guard and he really showed in this this game. He does not dribble the ball well and I can’t understand why he attempts to force through two players and looses the ball. And to dribble on a fast break and not be aware of somebody behind him to pop the ball away is mind boggling.

    Mike White is a good coach and the haters should shut up. To not have a real good big inside and not have a real go-to guy, he’s done real well with this team. Need to recruit a little better, maybe.

  7. Players play and miss shots they should make a take some they should not. Coaches coach and who knows if the players actually do what they have been coached to do. Get a good performance from Allen and we win. Get some better defense on the rim with better on ball defense we win. TT is not that good of a team in my view and it appears the entire SEC was over rated to me.

  8. For all the Coach White critics out there, please tell me what coach UF should just run out and hire. Jay Wright isn’t leaving Villanova for UF. UF has nevery been able to recruit like KY, NC, KS, or other blue bloods. Hopefully Coach White continues to learn and grow, much like Donovan did after being blasted by “gator fans” for losing in the first weekend every year during that early stretch. Go Gators and thanks for the entertainment!!

    • Yes people dont know or some dont remember how Donovan’s early years his teams always came up short. Every season they did good but just couldnt make it over the hill, but he grew as a coach, got better at coaching, better at recruiting until he recruited the 04’s and the rest was history. Ease up on this coach, he’s like a Billy Donovan. He is young and is learning his craft. He will improve at coaching, at recruiting and one day he will have a championship team. Maybe some of you dont want to wait for that and think we Gators deserve the cream of the crop in coaches, you want to go for what appears to be the quick fix in a UMBC coach. Maybe we would hit the jackpot, but maybe not, who knows. Im just glad Billy didnt have to face such high expectations when he came here, as Florida hadnt ever been somebody at basketball , because if he had, he would never have lasted to become the great coach he did!

  9. Several things with this team have been clear since the beginning of the season, even when they were winning big and putting up 100 points a game. Their shot selection and decision making has been awful and difficult to watch. Allen is 6″2″ but is clearly not a point guard and very uncomfortable with the ball in his hands. That could be a problem next year if there isn’t a newcomer to fill that role. Egor is clearly in over his head against quality competition and he did not want the ball in those big spots last night. Very unsure of himself on two quality looks. Not all his fault because the injuries to the bigs have forced him to be on the floor when he shouldn’t have been and injuries also have put Hayes in a position where he needed to be more than a role player, which he is not. His offensive inefficiencies are easily exposed. This is why they struggled against so many mediocre teams that could really take advantage of the Gator weaknesses.
    They were eventually going to be eliminated by a team that could expose those weaknesses and I think TT was the better team with better overall talent.
    I think White is a good coach that will get better each year, however, at this point he is not good enough to win with mediocre talent in a conference where the coaching has stepped up significantly. Long story short, he better be able to recruit at least as well his predecessor did in order to sustain success. I think he can but time will only tell.

  10. Looks like bf finally decided to make an appearance. And who is this James Busby clown? Another bf account?

    Don’t feed the trolls guys. Would you try to get into a debate with 3 year olds? It’s like that but worse. These guys aren’t actually interested in being reasonable.

  11. As far as people saying that Mike White is on a hot seat, I beg to differ. We’re not Duke or North Carolina so can’t expect final four every year, but Donovan has put right up there in position to challenge those perennial powers with less talent. Mike White is the guy to take us there as recruits have to realize that Florida is for real. I ain’t got time to wait another 10 years because impatient fans manage to chase a legendary football away (see football). Please jut think that losing Mike White could potentially undo all that Donovan has built. So, seat back and enjoy that we got to dance in the big dance!

    Anyway, season is clearly a success given that we were short-handed. That ending could have been a one shining moment but it wasn’t meant to be. Hopefully we get Hudson back and also Egbunu. With Stone maturing and these other players, this team will making noise in March madness for next few years.. The bummer is that we lose a legendary point guard. 🙁 No one will ever forget that Wisconsin game shot.. that was the stuff of legend! Thank you Chiozza!!

    Again, Mike White is a great coach and will be even greater next year.. and I predict he will win an NC within the next 4-5 years and perhaps sooner. The highly recruited kids better take notes that Florida is where it’s at and not Kentucky! Go Gators!!!

  12. Thank goodness the season is over. Thank goodness some of the players are not returning. They played to the best they could. I’ll give White another year to show that he can recruit and coach before he is shown the door. Perhaps he’s better off to be an AD like his father and siblings.

  13. White is not on the hot seat, nor should he be. However, he should be on the watch list for next year. He has accomplished a lot but clearly hit the wall with this team that had so much potential.
    I am so tired of reading statements from the Gainesville Sun writers bragging about how “White is the first UF basketball coach to do this” or “the first UF basketball coach to do that” as if to suggest that he is building the program.
    White is the first basketball coach at UF to inherit a winning program with fan support and fan expectations. Before the writers gush some more, I wish they would stop and think back to what Donovan, Kruger, or Sloan inherited. I can assure you that the program was in a far worse place than it was in 2015.
    I love the up tempo style and I am hopeful that Coach White is able to get some good front court players on the roster to balance the team. I am not happy with his low key, passive style. Like it or not, you must be aggressive with homer refs in this league or you will not survive. We can all list at least three games this year where Coach White and his team were completely jobbed by SEC refs and he stood there and said nothing. If you actually believe that jumping the refs does not have an impact on how they call the game then you haven’t watched SEC basketball for very long.
    White needs to ramp up the passion on the sidelines so that his teams will respond accordingly. The 2017-2018 version of Gator basketball featured a team that seemed to be as comfortable sleep walking through games as any team I have ever seen. I know he has been frustrated by this but he needs to look at how he interacts with them in the future as well.
    All in all, it was a good season, I guess, but one that frankly I am glad is over. I have never been this frustrated with a Gator basketball team in 40 years as an avid fan.

    • Well by your logic, it was White’s coaching that got UF to the elite 8 last year. Did he forget how to coach? Or maybe a sane person could realize that it takes coaching, players, and good fortune to advance. Your man Leonard Hamilton doesn’t seem to know how to get to the Final 4 does he? I’m old and I don’t remember FSU ever being worth a shat!!

      • I laugh at the imbeciles who say the problem is coaching. Those who say that have never been a high school, college or national coach. The problem was and is NOT White. I coached 20+ years of international basketball and went to numerous coaching clinics. In this day and age, all the Xs and Os and lineups don’t mean spit if your team can’t shoot the trey. And the Gators no inside presence all season. Hindsight is 20/20. 2018-19 will be a better year for this team.

    • Yet, you predicted Kentucky would be the only team left standing from the SEC after today. But, no big deal. It is called trolling and being shifty of feet when you are wrong and simply cannot ever admit it. Basically, a LIAR.

    • You are a liar, bf. You know you completely expected and basically predicted that Kentucky would be the only SEC team left standing after today. Now, you are posting that you are happy that Williams and NC are done. As I posted. LIAR. FAKE. TROLL. PLEASE GO AWAY. But you never will unless Gatorsports makes you go away. Obviously, they do not have the technology to make that happen. They have tried and you just keep coming back and coming back. Sick.

  14. “Praise Allah,” Barauq Hussein might say.

    Bf, why was I so sure you’d eventually reveal political views out of the same toxic dumpster as your sports commentary. Can’t resist shooting your mouth off, can you?

  15. Away on vacation. Just got back. I am not a Mike White fan, but I am willing to give him a chance and another year to see what he can do. He played short handed this whole year with no big men. However, I will say that I do not like some of his coaching decisions. KA is not a point guard, and never will be. Playing him at point guard is a mistake. Put him back at shooting guard and play MO. He look good for the limited time he played. Play the incoming freshman as well. Another criticism of MW is that he did not develop the freshman and only played them sparingly.