Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s win over Tennessee


Some observations following Florida’s 67-41 win over Tennessee:

— Lost in Florida’s blanketing effort on defense was the fact that the Gators had their best day at the free-throw line in more than two months. Florida went 10 of 13 from the free-throw line against the Vols (76.9 percent), its highest percentage from the line since going 25-30 (.833) on Nov. 21 against Middle Tennessee State. Florida sophomore guard Michael Frazier II went 4 for 4 from the line, while Scottie Wilbekin went 4 for 5.

— Following the Tennessee win, Florida coach Billy Donovan half-joked that things are starting to even out for the Gators in defending the 3-point line. But in their last two games, the Gators held Alabama and Tennessee to just 9.7 percent (3-31) from beyond the arc. Alabama and Tennessee missed some open looks, but Florida also is doing a better job closing out on shooters and is showing better awareness with its defensive rotations.

— Sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith had another strong effort for the Gators off the bench with 9 points and 8 rebounds. The Virginia Tech transfer is not quite the impact star some expected in the preseason, but he’s a solid sixth man off the bench who has shown flashes of ability to take over a game. And with Florida struggling on the boards early against Tennessee, Finney-Smith came in and was able to get tough rebounds in traffic against Tennessee bulky frontcourt players Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon.