Three observations from Florida’s 78-72 loss at Ole Miss:
— It was an off game defensively for Florida junior center Kevarrius Hayes, who was either fouling or flopping inside in 15 minutes on the floor. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Hayes needs to learn he’s not going to get those calls on the road. Ole Miss outscored Florida 32-22 in the paint, and both Hayes and Keith Stone needed to play better one-on-one defense inside to match the physicality of their opponents.
— Freshman guard Mike Okauru had another strong game off the bench with 9 points, 1 rebound and 1 turnover in 15 minutes. Okauru continues to show good decision-making with the ball with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4 to 1 in SEC play.
— A tell-tale sign of Florida’s lack of energy at Ole Miss, the Gators scored a season-low 5 points off turnovers Saturday. Ole Miss meanwhile scored 15 points off 10 turnovers. The Gators are at their best when they are disruptive defensively, but a lack of depth combined with playing for the third time on the road in the last four games may have caught up to them.
OFF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WIRE
Deandre Burnett, A Miami transfer, contributed 20 points, six assists and two rebounds to Ole Miss’s cause vs. Florida on Saturday.
“It’s very big being from Florida and beating a team like Florida,” Burnett said. “I felt great. The win helped me pushed through. My teammates behind me and us staying together just got us a real gutsy win down the stretch.”