Some observations following Florida’s 77-75 SEC basketball win at Missouri on Saturday:
• Florida junior guard KeVaughn Allen is still struggling to regain his scoring ability from last season. Allen went just 1-of-5 from the floor against Missouri for two points. Picking up two first-half fouls and missing an early transition layup didn’t help, and the 6-foot-2 Allen can sometimes go into a shell when things don’t go well early. But credit Allen for helping the Gators in other areas. Allen had two assists against the Tigers and has posted a stellar 35-11 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season.
• Florida held its own on the boards against Missouri despite some size mismatches. Though Missouri outrebounded Florida 32-30, the Gators grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and converted them into seven second-chance points. Senior guard Egor Koulechov was again strong on the boards with a team-high eight rebounds.
• Florida senior guard Chris Chiozza also said the following about his game-winning layup after a steal in Saturday’s win: “I knew I had plenty of time left. I wanted to slow down to make sure I didn’t trip or anything. I’m excited we got this win. It’s not about that play, it’s about how we played the whole game.”
• After a spotty non-conference season, the Gators have started SEC play well, with back-to-back road wins over quality opponents. Florida beat 11th-ranked Texas A&M 83-66 on Tuesday.
“Early in the season, I thought we were a very soft team,” UF coach Mike White said. “I wouldn’t call us soft now, but I wouldn’t call us overly tough either. It’s a process for us. After a certain amount of time, our guys embraced the fact we had some deficiencies.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Who: Mississippi State (13-2, 1-1 SEC) vs. Florida (11-4, 3-0)
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: O’Connell Center
TV: SEC Network
Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850
Well said, Kevin. And I thought this Florida did very well at overcoming adversity, more than they have in a long time. As this 2017-’18 U.F team was 0-2 in ”close games”, until Mizzou. Now I hope this team can play as well at home, as they do on the road. It seems, sometimes, they want to please the fans… too much. (which is what the Coach Mac football teams seemed to do, too). But this Gator B-ball team is starting to gel at the right time… S.E.C. season! Go Gators!
I think it is remarkable what the Gators have done so far with three of their big men , including one of the best defenders and rebounders in the SEC, on the bench with injuries. We need to hold serve until we can get the big guys back . This will be a dangerous tourney team–just need to get there first.