Three observations following UF’s 68-50 loss Saturday to Alabama at the O’Connell Center:
— I didn’t think UF’s shot selection was as bad as it was earlier in the week against Georgia. But Florida did show signs of panic, or as Florida coach Mike White referred to postgame as “hero ball” when it lost the lead in the second half. The Gators need to work together through ball-and-player movement to facilitate offense because they don’t have uber-talented one-on-one players who can break down defenders. In the first half, Florida senior point guard Chris Chiozza made a beautiful pass to a cutting Egor Koulechov under the basket for a layup. But there was little of that same kind of ball movement and player movement in the second half. An assist-to-turnover ratio of 9 to 12, which Florida posted against Alabama, isn’t going to cut it in any SEC game.
— White referred to making changes following the Alabama loss. It will be interesting to see if one of those changes comes in mixing up defenses. The Gators have played predominantly switching man-to-man defense with only pockets of success. Florida could go to more zone defenses to guard the interior better, but that would hamper UF’s ability to defensive rebound. White also doesn’t view his team as having the ability to press for extended periods, but perhaps sprinkling in the press from time to time can give the Gators more chances to get in transition offensively and utilize their speed.
— For a half, at least, Florida did a better job of finishing inside, but the Gators reverted to the mean, going 14 for 33 on two-point shots for the game. Redshirt sophomore forward Keith Stone finished on some inside baskets early but missed a baseline layup in the second half when Florida needed a basket to stave off Alabama’s 11-0 run. Florida also only got to the free-throw line 11 times against an Alabama team that’s prone to fouling.