Three observations following Florida’s 62-57 loss at Tennessee on Wednesday night:
— Florida coach Mike White said he benched junior guard KeVaughn Allen down the stretch due to his lack of aggressiveness, “Just going with guys who were playing hard and aggressive,” White said. “I’m struggling to get him aggressive. I had a meeting with him yesterday. I’ll continue to stress the importance of him being aggressive for this team.” Allen had his worst game in what has been a disappointing junior season, going 0 for 3 from the field with 0 points and 2 turnovers in 29 minutes. The lowlights included passing up a wide open layup attempt for a wide-open 3-pointer that rimmed in-and-out in the second half and failing to hustle for a 50-50 ball during a defensive possession.
— Junior center Kevarrius Hayes did some things well inside, finishing with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots against the Vols. But Hayes also let Tennessee forward Grant Williams seal him inside in the post and let Williams score some critical baskets down the stretch. Yes, Hayes is only 225 pounds but there are ways he can keep bigger bodies from sealing him inside with better defensive positioning.
— Save for a wild driving shot late and a couple of critical missed free throws, Florida senior point guard Chris Chiozza looked like the Chiozza of January on Wednesday night against the Vols. Chiozza had 11 points and 9 assists and could have had more dimes if not for some missed layups and 3-point attempts that Chiozza set up with his passing. Chiozza played 34 minutes and had more of a bounce of the step. The Gators are going to need Chiozza to close out the SEC regular season strong to have any chance to turn around their recent struggles.