Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 72-63 win over JMU


Three observations following Florida’s 72-63 win over James Madison:

— Florida simply needs to get more production out of Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes. Florida coach Mike White said Stone has been playing well in practice, but outside of an early four-point play, didn’t make much of an impact offensively. Stone missed a few drives around the rim and almost had as many turnovers (4) as points (7). Hayes, too, was up and down. The good — Hayes found KeVaughn Allen on the perimeter out of the post for a pair of assists on a pair of Allen 3-pointers. Hayes also had 3 blocks and one steal, but was unable to finish an alley-oop attempt in transition, had a rebound bounce off his hip out of bounds and fouled James Madison’s Ramone Snowden on a 3-point attempt with 2:01 left, allowing Snowden to go to the line three times with Florida up by 11 points.

— The Gators have been seeing more zone defenses of late and ball movement against the zone has remained an issue. Florida finished the game with 12 assists to 12 turnovers against James Madison, with point guard Chris Chiozza dishing seven assists. Too often, Florida settled for 3-point attempts against the zone in the first half instead of attacking it. White pulled freshman guard Deaundrae Ballard after missing a quick 3-point attempt against JMU’s zone defense in the first half and had an animated conversation with him on the bench after pulling him. “When we were aggressive and attacked (the zone) instead of throwing the ball around the perimeter, we got whatever we wanted,” Chiozza said.

— Freshman guard Michael Okauru provided some productive minutes off the bench with 7 points and an assist in 11 minutes, going 2 for 3 from the floor and 1 of 2 from 3-point range. Okauru’s 11 minutes off the bench were his most since playing 20 minutes off the bench against Stanford on Nov. 23. “That’s one thing this season is teaching me, patience, really learning from Chris and all the older guys,” Okauru said. “They just tell me to be ready for my opportunity.”