Beyond the Arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 68-50 loss to Alabama

Florida forward Keith Stone goes up for a contested basket Saturdayagainst Alabama at the O'Connell Center. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

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.



  1. 1. I’ve been saying that White needs to get Hayes more minutes, about 28 minutes. What does he do? He pulls Hayes from the starting line up and reduces his minutes to 17. I know Hayes doesn’t have good hands, turnover prone, poor free throw shooter, and he isn’t a scoring or rebounding machine but his presence on the court makes the team better on offense. He’s also a rim protector and good blocker on defense. We need more beef inside, not less. Please get him at least 28 minutes a game.

    2. Good to see Allen have decent games recently. Where is the fan who suggested White should start Hudson over Allen? They both getting starter minutes anyway and Allen has more seniority.

      • Yep….that’s the killer, and that’s on Mike W to fix. Then, the bad shots lead to run outs. We shoot poorly at home for some reason, the it translates to hero, one on one ball, 1 pass 3s from deep. I knew Alabama would be a problem…not surprised especially when the shots stopped falling.

    • Sly, what are you going to do hurt them for having an opinion about who should start. Good Lord! Seniority has nothing to do with who should start and until recently Allen has not been playing well so I can see their point. Personally, I’ve never heard of a leading scorer not starting. Hudson did play awful yesterday – like he was in a pick up game.

  2. Funny thing is that they still think they’ll be in the Dance — they will not be! Going to the NIT, there is no excuse in the world that Dunce White shouldn’t give Ballard, Bassett and Okauru 15-20 minutes a game.

      • LOL! Love it, Corey! The Coach White haters (and soon, Dan Mullen your next if you lose to Vandy, sadly) will ALWAYS come out when things go wrong. And then those same on-line haters will bitc%h about the lack of, or poor recruiting.
        Just look at some of the fan base’s comments on yesterday, and then add-in the posers like ”bf”, which we all know is a JEALOUS ‘Nole or Dawg”. But he knows, it’s bad ”on-line” for U.F. coaches (and thus RECRUITING) when the Gators lose. I just hope Florida has a butt f… like, ”bf”, on the Tide, ‘Nole, and U.G.A. sports ”on-line sites” ignorantly commenting like he does.

  3. I don’t usually chime-in on basketball, but I do watch. Coach White is not the problem, and I sure hope that he does not end-up in the hot seat like our football coaches of late have (OK, they were losers, but it sure got brutal here). I really think the problem is lack of talent and size. Although I love the hustle of Chiozza and Koulechov, they play in streaks and are not consistently productive. The others are average at best. Recruiting needs to improve significantly if we are to become competitive again. Just watching South Carolina and Alabama, it is obvious that their line-ups and benches are much bigger and more talented than ours. Looking at teams around the country, it is even more obvious that we are not talented enough to go to the Big Dance, and doubtful for the NIT. Our guys do not seem to be able to execute game plans and follow simple coaching adjustments. I don’t think this is the fault of the coaches, I just think these guys are not talented enough to execute against good competition. I am sure they work hard and are quite earnest in their desire to win, but they are just not good enough to compete with better teams for more than a half.

  4. Outrebounded, again, 43-25, which comes as no surprise when you consider the Gator offense puts 4 players on the perimeter, so when a shot is fired, there is only one player inside to rebound. Coach White has to at least try to get his bigs involved in the offense with some pick and rolls and post ups, at this point, what have you got to lose.

  5. Michelle White coming back. Stone and Hayes coming back. Same for Allen and Hudson. Really no development for Bassett, Ballard and Okauru because Michelle didn’t play them enough. The bigs suck and no bigs recruited for next season. When the recruiting doesn’t improve and attendance dwindles, I would think Stricklin would have to notice. Vegas should come up with a new proposition bet: Over/Under on number of terrible shots per game for Egor – about 4.5 maybe. Stokes, by the way, even with a healthy knee is going to struggle mightily. Not reported but he has CC Sabathia Syndrome which is not being able to stay away from McDonald’s twice daily. Until a new coach comes in, this program is in the dumper — wait and see. Oh, and another thing, White made the decision the last two seasons to start Hill over Cheez, which hindered Chiozza’s career. Anyone who thinks that was a good decision is dumb and blind!

    • Although you deserve ”the attention” that a road-killed possum gets, here’s some truth about you, butt f… (a.k.a.-bf). It must suck that ”your development” is stunted, and only consists of watching a team that you hate like U.F., immediately go to that team’s on-line site, being filled with rage for them, type ABSURDITIES based on irrational projections (that in truth, are only YOUR WISHFUL THOUGHTS).
      And only a weak ‘Nole or Dawg fan could conjure up such nonsensical notions, and ultimately that must SUCK for you! And as long as you come here and type your idiotic ramblings, I am HAPPY, you suck!
      In fact, what’s it like being ”picked last” in a street basketball game, bf? As I, a Gator, wouldn’t know!
      But then again, you probably were playing ”shoots and ladders” with the little kids, picking on them and stealing their P.B.& J’s!

      • I would feel confident betting that in the Power 5 conferences over the last 15 years, for example, by season’s end, Mike White will have lost more games in a single season as a favorite than any other coach during that period. If I’m right, think about that! Good night, Irene.

  6. This team just doesn’t seem to get it. There is talent there offensively but they just didn’t play D. Somebody has. Got to step up and man up. Throw somebody to the ground on a dunk, punch somebody in the mouth. As for White he’s a good YOUNG coach who doesn’t seem able to find the right buttons for this team. He’s got to get his bigs playing better though. And yes he’s got to play the freshmen more. He should have bench the dam starters in the 2nd half and let them watch as they played with no heart, no guts no urgency. He should have ripped his dam jacket off and thrown it in their faces for embarrassing their school, their fans, and this terrific program that Coach Donovan built. Sunday they should have an 8 am practice outdoors with no Gator gear on. Earn the right to play for this program! You wanna play in Gainesville you gotta earn it.

  7. White has destroyed this season by going from a Final Four contender to a team that will not even make the Dance field. Wonder if Brockway could guesstimate the revenue White has lost for the university by missing the tournament? It would have to be a significant amount.

  8. When Florida can pay the type of money they are paying White, one knows they have a helluva lot of money to waste. Please no one tell us how many years he has left on his contract. I absolutely don’t want to think about it! For those who follow the team closely, we are going to notice that upper level high schoolers aren’t going to play for White. Forget 5-stars, the 4-stars aren’t coming here either!

    • bf, You are entitled to your ill-informed opinions but not your own facts. For 2018 Florida has one five star early signee, one four star early signee and one four star hard commit. FSU, by contrast, has one three star early signee and no other signees or commits for 2018. Miami has no early signees or commits for 2018. Keep those rabid rants coming and, as always, don’t let the facts get in the way.

      • Oh please, I wasn’t referring to players ALREADY recruited BEFORE White destroyed the season! White will not get ANYBODY better than a 3-star for the 2019-20 season. The top recruits don’t want anything to do with how this wuss coaches.

  9. Another example of White’s being overmatched: Forget about name or elite coaches in the country and we’ll stay right here in Florida. No knowledgeable Gator fan is going to take Mike White over Hamilton or Larranaga, for examples. Don’t even go there!

  10. With those turnovers in the first half they should have been up 15 or more points. The offense is the worst problem, poor shot selection, too little movement, and no second chances. No players that can stress the opponent’s defense even thought we were thought to have some.

  11. This team has lost something. It has gone downhill. From leading the nation in scoring average to getting just 17 points in the 2nd half against Alabama. I don’t know what happened to consistency. I do know that the offense and defense have deteriorated over the season. You can blame a lot of things on the coach and players. I will only say they are consistently inconsistent and now are in position to NOT make the NCAA tournament. And this is a team with wins over Gonzaga, Cincinnatti, Kentucky, Baylor, Mizzou, Tex. A&M, etc. But losses to average or below average South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, etc. There is no fire here and no inside presence. Stick a fork in this team because they are DONE! I give up trying to understand the philosophy of this team, and I coached 20 years of international basketball, and played in high school and college. If White can’t light a fire under these guys, and they can’t light one under themselves, then changes are necessary. Either right now, to save the season, or after the season when the Gators sit on the sidelines hoping to get an NIT invite with–at the rate they are going downhill–a losing record.

  12. “My God, Gator fans, give me a break, okay?! Just because we were favored by 7.5 over Alabama, 3.5 over Georgia, 10.5 over S. Carolina, 5 over Ole Miss, 7 over Clemson, 16.5 over Loyola and 9 over Florida St. doesn’t necessarily mean that we win ANY of those games, right? Well, shucks, I lost all seven! Surprising, I didn’t even know about until I went on Gatorsports.” — Mike White, just sitting around thinking up some smack

  13. The Gator football and basketball players have experienced devastating injuries and suspensions (football) that have severely hurt the teams. Seems to be a trend and don’t know if White can manufacture a style of play without the bigs to pull it off. One game the shots are falling, and the next the rim seems thimble sized.
    Either the existing talent is mediocre, or their interest and motivation and work ethic is pathetic.

  14. Quit will all this crap about injuries to bigs, etc. The problem is between the ears and most of these posters know it! At least four of the starters have consistently quit (in the games they were favored in and lost) and Snowflake White keeps giving them the same minutes. That’s on the coach! Even late in the season, especially now when the season is all but lost, Snowflake won’t give much more playing time to Ballard, Bassett, Gak and Okauru. That’s on the coach! Tell me how the AD can possibly retain White after this season! Fire this mother! Bring in a man!

  15. It looks like this team has given up. As in QUIT. No heart, no inside game, no bench help. Horrible to watch a former No. 4 team in the country spiral downhill while losing to inferior teams, at least on paper. They just might make the NIT.