Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 69-61 win over Alabama

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Some observations following UF’s 69-61 SEC Tournament win over Alabama:

— From a scoring standpoint, Florida sophomore point guard Kasey Hill went back down to earth with 2 points against Alabama after a 15-point effort against Kentucky. But Hill was still steady running the offense, finishing with 3 assists to 2 turnovers in 27 minutes. Hill’s penetration set up a pretty wraparound pass to Alex Murphy for an easy Murphy layup on one of his three assists. Kentucky plays Hill differently, so the 6-foot-1 guard should have more chances to finish at the basket on Friday against the Wildcats.

— Junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith has made a drastic improvement shooting the basketball this season. After a 4 for 9 effort from 3-point range against Alabama, Finney-Smith is shooting a team-high 43.4 percent from 3-point range this season. Last season, Finney-Smith shot 30.6 percent from beyond the arc. “If we’re open, I just want to shoot the ball with confidence,” Finney-Smith said. “I hope that players on my team do the same.”

— Give Florida credit for staying patient against Alabama’s zone defense. True, the Gators fired 29 3-point attempts against the Alabama zone, but a good number of them came after the ball moved inside back out. Senior center Jon Horford had a nice kick-out pass from under the basket to freshman point guard Chris Chiozza for an open 3-pointer that set the tone. The Gators need to continue to have that kind of unselfish ball movement to advance in the SEC Tournament.