Earlier this month, Florida coach Mike White said UF’s starting lineup was flexible.
Coming off an 85-70 loss to No. 16 Purdue on Sunday, White didn’t rule out making possible changes to the starting lineup on Wednesday against Vermont.
“Anytime you lose, in addition to not playing well, it gives you an opportunity to re-evaluate really everything that you’re doing,” White said. “From a player standpoint, a staff standpoint, style of play, a rotation, a starting lineup, all of those things.”
White has started the same lineup for all four of UF’s games — John Egbunu at center, Dorian Finney-Smith at power forward, DeVon Walker at small forward, Kasey Hill at point guard and KeVaughn Allen at shooting guard. White said if there were to be any changes, it would be based off practice on Tuesday.
“Like all teams, you want guys who want to start, you want guys that want to compete, within the framework of our team,” White said. “But I’m hoping, and I think so, that our guys are putting more emphasis on just improving right now and being productive on the floor, whether they start or not. But there’s a chance that we definitely could mix some things up.”
Two candidates pushing for starting jobs are sophomore point guard Chris Chiozza and sophomore forward Devin Robinson. Chiozza is averaging 8.3 points off the bench, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 11 to 4, while shooting 58.3 percent (7-12) from 3-point range. Robinson has posted two double-doubles in his first four games off the bench and is averaging 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.
“Devin’s a guy that, he’s right there on the cusp, he has been, he’s been playing really well,” White said. “Started in the exhibition and the scrimmage and he’s getting better and better and he’s a guy that’s right there. I would consider him.”
— White said a variety of factors contributed to defensive breakdowns in the Purdue loss. Florida gave up the most points in regulation (85) since losing 93-75 to Ohio State on Nov. 16, 2010. “Ball-screen cover we could have been better,” White said. “Transition defense we could have been a little bit better. Overall communication we could have been a little bit better. We missed four or five block-outs, which is easier said than done against such a big, physical team. Our interior defense wasn’t great, but where they had us caught in a couple mismatches there with size and strength vs a couple of our (power forwards) at times, which is just who they are offensively. You just have to a great defensive effort against a great offensive team. Ours? It wasn’t bad, but it was very average.”
— White was asked about how the Gators could get back on track on the perimeter after shooting 14 of 52 (26.9 percent) over the weekend at the Hall of Fame Tournament. For the season, the Gators are shooting 32 percent from beyond the arc. “Our four wings are better shooters than they’ve shown,” White said. “They know that. We just want them to take great shots. Most of them were pretty good shots. Some of it had to do with playing two good defensive teams. I want our guys to play with confidence, I want them to shoot open shots. I want them in the gym more. We challenged them to do that yesterday of course. It’s hard to get in the gym more when you’re on a road trip in Connecticut. We had guys in the gym last night, we’ll have guys in the gym tonight. Playing at home in front of your crowd on your home floor with your Wilson Solution basketballs. I think they’re all little factors. Being in the gym a little more to where hopefully we can get some of our better shooters on track because we’re a better shooting team than this.”