Some observations following UF’s win over Kentucky on Saturday night at Rupp Arena:
— In a hostile enviornment against the best rebounding team in the Southeastern Conference, Florida manned up on the boards. Granted, Kentucky outrebounded the Gators 31-28, but Florida finished with more offensive rebounds (10 to Kentucky’s 9) and more second-chance points (12-8). Kentucky freshman forward Julius Randle got his double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) but was kept from becoming a factor with putbacks.
— If Kentucky sophomore forward Alex Poythress somehow wins SEC sixth-man of the year over Florida sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith, there ought to be an investigation. Finney-Smith got the best of the first matchup, finishing with 8 points and 5 rebounds to Poythress’ 0 points and 2 rebounds. Finney-Smith had some effective drives on head-fakes, but is in a shooting funk. He missed three more 3-point attempts against Kentucky and has missed his last 14 3-point tries dating back to Jan. 30 at Mississippi State.
— Florida kept Kentucky’s transition buckets to a minimum as well. The Gators actually outscored the Wildcats 10-9 in fast-break points. Florida coach Billy Donovan said part of the gameplan defensively was to get back on break and force Kentucky into tough-shot attempts. The Wildcats shot 47.6 percent, but Donovan felt several buckets came on challenged shot attempts.