Three takeaways from Florida’s 70-50 win over Florida Gulf Coast University:
— The maddening inconsistency for junior point guard Kasey Hill continues. After scoring 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting against Vermont, Hill was back to his wild drives in the lane, finishing with just 7 points on 2 of 9 shooting against FGCU. Some of those missed drives resulted in offensive rebounds putbacks for the Gators, but while that may work against undersized FGCU, it won’t against the more physical, bigger frontcourts Florida will face in the SEC.
— There’s plenty to like about how freshman Kevarrius Hayes is playing off the bench. The 6-foot-9 forward from Live Oak reminds me of Will Yeguete, a heady, defense-first player who always gives effort on the offensive and defensive glass . Hayes appears physical and mature enough to remain in UF’s rotation once SEC play begins.
— White strategy of backing off the press ultimately paid off. Florida was still active with fullcourt pressure at points during the game, including forcing a 10 second violation on token pressure in the second half. Overall, the Gators scored 26 points off 18 FGCU turnovers. “Our press backfired on us a little bit in the first half,” White said. “They were attacking the sideline. We weren’t doing a very good job with our awareness. We’re always screaming with our guys, check your area. You can’t just stare at the ball … In the second half, I just thought our awareness was so much better. We had our heads on a swivel, seeing both ball and the guy you’re responsible for.”