Some observations following UF’s 64-52 loss at Missouri:
— Florida freshman forward Devin Robinson reached double figures in scoring (14 points) for his fourth time in five games. But after scoring nine points in the first half, Robinson wasn’t quite as assertive in the second half. Missouri freshman guard Namon Wright was the hot hand for the Tigers, finishing with 28 points and scoring 13 of Missouri’s 15 points in the second half. Missouri coach Kim Anderson said he ran some plays for Wright, recognizing he was the hot hand. The Gators should have done the same for Robinson.
— Florida coach Billy Donovan was none too pleased that Chris Walker hoisted a 3-point attempt with the Gators up 45-39. That single missed shot shifted momentum as the Gators were outscored 23-7 down the stretch. “I thought we were in good shape, and then Chris Walker thinks he’s a 3-point shooter,” Donovan said. “I mean, is that a shot for you, or is that a shot for our team?” It was another forgettable night for Walker, who had nearly as many turnovers (3) as points (4). It makes you wonder if it will ever work out at Florida for the 6-foot-10 former McDonald’s All-American.
— What more could be done about free-throw shooting? I asked Donovan if he considered bringing in someone outside the program, perhaps a shooting coach, as a different voice. That question did not go over well. “Do you want to help?” Donovan said, followed by. “I’ve dealt with enough teams and played the game, I think our staff knows what we’re doing.” With the 9 for 23 day against Missouri, the Gators dropped to 64.4 percent for the season and have shot less than 70 percent from FT line in six of the last nine seasons. At one point, Florida center Jon Horford had to get point guard Kasey Hill to regain his composure after missing his sixth straight free-throw. Hill finished the game 1 of 8. “I told him we believe in him,” Horford said. “We all believe in Kase, he’s in there every day, he shoots 200 every day, he’s a really good free throw shooter, it’s just, something, it’s all in the head. He shoots well over 80 percent when he practice. He shoots 200 a day. So we believe in him.”