Some observations following UF’s 59-41 win over Navy:
— The biggest issue in the transition between Florida under Mike White compared to Billy Donovan has been turnovers. White is trying to get his team to play more of a dribble-drive offense, but the problem remains, the Gators don’t have great dribblers or drivers. Senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith was a prime example, drawing two first-half offensive fouls trying to force drives to the baskets that weren’t there. Point guard Kasey Hill (8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers) also remains shaky with the ball. It’s going to be a process, and it’s easy to joke 19 turnovers against Navy is progress from 23 against Palm Beach Atlantic. But Florida needs to figure it out during the course of the season.
— Don’t expect much scoring from sophomore center John Egbunu, but he has a chance to be an elite defender for the Gators. “He beat us up all night long,” Navy coach Ed DeChellis said. Egbunu is agile enough to defend on the perimeter and quick enough to recover the post. He finished with 4 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals in his UF debut. Florida won’t be pushed around inside this season as long as Egbunu can stay out of foul trouble and provide quality minutes.
— Give walk-on center Schuyler Rimmer some credit as well. With Florida short-handed up front, Rimmer provided quality minutes and production off the bench with 6 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes. The Stanford transfer is a little mechanical, but Florida fans should accept him for what he is, a big body off the bench that provides a physical presence when Egbunu is in foul trouble.