Three observations following UF’s 81-74 win over Vanderbilt at the O’Connell Center.
— Junior center Kevarrius Hayes was more active inside with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks against Vanderbilt. But the 6-foot-9 Hayes needs to continue to do a better job of staying out of foul trouble. Hayes picked up his fourth foul at the 10:40 mark in the second half and was limited the remainder of the game. Redshirt sophomore forward Keith Stone also had four fouls, forcing little used redshirt freshman forward Dontay Bassett to play four minutes due to Gorjok Gak being out with a knee injury.
— Though Florida had just 7 assists, I thought the Gators did a better job of moving the ball and looking for one another. In the first half, Florida was able to work the ball inside-out and get some open looks from 3-point range. Florida finished with 7 assists to 5 turnovers, its first positive assist-to-turnover ratio since Nov. 26 against Duke (11-9).
— Credit Florida for attacking the basket more to get to the free-throw line. The Gators were able to get into the bonus at the 12:29 mark of the second half, which proved important in the outcome. Florida went 27 of 30 (90 percent) from the free throw line because the right guys got to the line, namely Egor Koulechov (10 for 10) and KeVaughn Allen (6 for 6). Koulechov is 40 for 41 from the line this season, with his last miss coming Nov. 19 against New Hampshire.