Beyond the Arc: 3 takeways from UF’s 77-62 win over St. Bonaventure in NCAA Tournament

St. Bonaventure forward Amadi Ikpeze (32) watches as Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes (13) and guard KeVaughn Allen (5) celebrate drawing a foul against St. Bonaventure during the second half of a first-round game at the NCAA college basketball tournament in Dallas, Thursday, March 15, 2018. Florida won 77-62. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

DALLAS — Three observations following UF’s 77-62 win over St. Bonaventure on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament:

— Florida at times settled for too many 3-point attempts against St. Bonaventure’s matchup zone, hoisting 19 of its 32 3-point attempts in the first half. The Gators, though, were more aggressive taking the ball to the basket in the second half. Three straight driving finishes by freshman Mike Okauru, junior guard KeVaughn Allen and junior guard Jalen Hudson put Florida up 45-31 and helped set a tone offensively for the remainder of the game. Florida scored 50 points in the second half. The Gators finished the game shooting 31.3 percent (10-32) from 3-point range.

— Freshman guard Mike Okauru had another excellent game off the bench, finishing with 7 points in 17 minutes with just one turnover. Okauru showed no jitters playing his first NCAA Tournament and hit a big 3-pointer late in the first half to put the Gators back up 24-22 after St. Bonaventure took a brief lead. Unfortunately for UF, Okauru suffered an apparent head injury when he hit his head hard on the floor late in the second half. But Florida coach Mike White said postgame he expects the 6-foot-3 guard to be OK for UF’s game Saturday night against Texas Tech.

— Florida showed good poise at the free throw line, making 13 of 18 attempts (72.2 pct) to help close out at the game. Even sophomore center Gorjok Gak made a free throw. Chris Chiozza, KeVaughn Allen and Okauru combined to go 6 of 6 from the line.



  1. almost the opposite pattern from what the gates have done in regular season. cold shooting, passive, keep the opponent in the game, hero ball in the first half, and an inspired second half. if the second half team shows up for the next game, T Tech is in trouble. if the first half team shows up, see everybody next year. do get the impression next game is floridda’s to win or lose.

    • I went out and checked TTU stats. They are not St Bonnie by any means, they have an impressive resume’ and play incredible defense, and have a guard that was big 12 player of the year runner up (behind KU’s Graham). It is my opinion that the Gators HAVE to have the second half team show up to be in the game, and if it’s the first half team, they have no chance. Fingers crossed to who shows up.

  2. Very good first win. I thought the team played very well overall. Good defensive intensity. Good close outs. Good switching. Good rebounding and fighting for balls. Good ball pressure, resulting in a few steals and run outs. A few lapses here and there, but not many. However, I agree they took way to many 3’s in the 1st half. They need to find the seams and drive to the basket against the zone and then kick out for open 3’s. The 3’s need to come in the flow of the offensive and in transition. Not from standing around passing around the outside and throwing one up late in the shot clock. CC did a good job passing. KA, JH and MO did a good job attacking the basket. KS did a good job inside. however, we still need more passing inside and more scoring from the post. Play like the 2d half next game and its on to the sweet 16.

  3. I like the way they played this game. Chiozza was in attack mode practically all night. I only noticed him taking his time and walking the ball up the court on one possession. I think that sped up the Bonnies and caused them to press a bit which resulted in a lot of turnovers.

  4. Kevin,
    I guess you did not watch the game.
    Okauru was inadvertently hit in the back of his head by the knee of St Bon player.
    It was very clear in the replay.
    Hopefully he will not fall into that concussion protocol that causes players to miss games when they say they are ok.

    I believe that if this team would play like anything less than 100% effort, then they would lose the game.

    We have not seen this team play at or near 100%.

    This could be the best team since the back to backs . (who did play every second like it mattered)

    Def and rebounding have improved and they are a better team for it.

    This team still does not move well without the ball in 1/2 court offense.
    3Gor is the best at catch and shoot player. ( he still drifts instead of going straight up)
    UF misses lots of opportunities because they are not ready to shot when they catch ball.
    Allen needs to practice catch and shoot 3’s 200 shoots every day.
    That is all that he does well. If he plans on playing at the next level that is his ticket.

    Allen looks to be point guard when Chiozzo is not on the floor.
    For the life of me I do not see that as good idea.
    3gor or Okauru or even Hutson should be the next primary ball handler.

    Uf needs to take more fouls, every game i see players with the ball step out of the way of def player out of control who will land on them. 3gor does that a lot. 3gor shots @90% from ft line, so why in the world does he avoid fouls in 3 point land?

    UF also has not learned how to get fouls in the lane while driving. They seem to avoid contact.
    Refs call def fouls even when offensive players are creating the contact.

    Bottom line St Bon is not very good team
    It was great to see UF put away inferior team.
    This year they have lost 8-10 game they allowed inferior teams to win.

    UF offensive execution in end of the game 1/2 court has been very poor.
    With the type players UF has that should be the opposite.

    Hopefully in every remaining game they will play fast / hard to get first good shot and take them no matter the time clock. No more delays.

    Well ! that is just one fans “eyeball test” of floor play.
    I do not claim to know more than the coaches.

    I trust players and coaches.

    Go Gators!!!

  5. 14 fouls whistled in the first 15 minutes. Can we have a game where we don’t have whistle-happy refs intent on getting their faces on t.v.? I counted ELEVEN uncalled personal fouls committed on our players in the paint or front court by St. Bonnie players, many of them them absolute muggings. I honestly believe that’s the only reason the game was close at the half.

    Loved the first round win, and how we shook off the refs and pulled away from Bonnies. Btw, their players ate thugs for the most part.

    Here’s to hoping we beat TT, but I’m not really expecting a win in the next round if the cold shooting continues, even for a half.

  6. Did anyone besides me think that the announcers (particularly Spiro Dpsht) were very pro St. Bonaventure? Even at the end it was more about the end of the careers of their two guards than about the Gators’ win).

    • I don’t know, RSGATOR, I was watching it on my computer and the audio was like 10 seconds ahead of the visual so I had it muted.
      You know it’s march when you’ve got two computers and a TV all with ball games on!

    • I agree with you entirely. The commentators were falling all over themselves for StB. Exemplified on a foul called when one of the StB players poked the ball away from Cheez. On replay it was the clear definition of a foul. The StB player hit Cheez in the armpit causing him to lose control of the ball. One announcer seemed incredulous the ref would have called it.

      The good news is we won. There is also a good article about FL being the Cinderella-buster over the years.

  7. Hell, I’m already looking ahead to the Butler/Florida matchup in the Sweet 16.

    Look for W. Virginia to take down Villanova.

    There, that ought to get you punks fired up!

    Can the Gators beat WVU and go to San Antonio?

  8. We never know which Gator teams shows up for the tip-off. Will it be the one that beat Cinncinnatti, Gonzaga, Standord, Baylor, Missouri on the road, TexA&M on the road, Auburn, two wins vs. Kentucky including 1 at Rupp arena, or the team that led Duke by 17 and lost, got stomped by mighty Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Georgia? I have given up trying to understand their offensive and defensive philosophy. I do know that Tech will be going inside to the post as Gators have no post presence worth a spit right now. I do NOT want to see Igor guarding the post player as White has done in the past. Igor is 6-5. He is NOT A POST PLAYER ON OFFENSE OR DEFENSE. Then again, who is a consistent No. 5 player on this team?
    I do think the Gators play better in an up-tempo style and make the extra pass to the open guy for the 3 pointer from the corner or wing.