Beyond the arc: 3 takeways from UF’s 67-61 loss at Vanderbilt


Some observations from UF’s 67-61 loss at Vanderbilt:

— It was another lackluster performance for sophomore point guard Kasey Hill, who has been unable to handle the weight of expectations of replacing SEC player of the year Scottie Wilbekin. Hill finished with 5 points, 1 assists and 1 turnovers and did little to make players around him better. And down 61-57, Hill still had a chance for redemption but missed a second free throw attempt with 1:41 left. Last Saturday, Florida coach Billy Donovan challenged Hill to work more on his own time on his free throws. If Hill did, that hard work didn’t pay off.

— Florida’s poor start shooting the ball ruined the Gator gameplan of pressing Vanderbilt’s all-freshman starting backcourt. The Gators still wound up with 14 points off 18 Vanderbilt turnovers, but it could have been even more if the Gators hit some early shots to set up some in bounds plays. By starting 0 of 9 from the floor, the Gators couldn’t get their press going until the 12-minute mark in the first half.

— Once again, junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith allowed an early missed shot to affect his confidence. Finney-Smith was never a factor in the game after missing a point blank attempt on a drive on UF’s second offensive possession. He finished with 4 points, 4 assists, 1 block and 1 steal in 27 foul-plagued minutes before fouling out with 8:53 left. “He did not really have it, for whatever reason,” Donovan said. “He’s had a great year. This was not one of his better games. I thought his missed shot, and this happens to players sometimes for whatever reason, he just didn’t play to that level he normally plays.”