Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 58-52 loss vs. No. 1 Michigan State


Some observations following UF’s 58-52 loss at Michigan State:

— Don’t be surprised to see Kasey Hill and Chris Chiozza starting together in the backcourt soon. The Gators had some of their best offensive stretches with the two point guards on the floor on the same time. With freshmen guards Brandone Francis-Ramirez and KeVaughn Allen clearly not ready for big-time competition yet, it appears starting the two experienced point guards together might be the best option, even though it would be a small backcourt. “They have to respect us on the pick and roll,” Hill said. “We did good playing together, honestly. It’s the first time we played together like that and hopefully coach will do it a little bit more and it will help the team. Whatever helps the team, that’s what I’m for doing.”

— Florida still needs to learn to focus in during critical moments at the free-throw line. The Gators went 10 of 18 for the game. Hill was 3 of 8, and had he converted that free throw with 55 seconds left, would have made it a one-possession game with 55 seconds. The difference between being down 56-52 and 56-53 at that point in the game was huge. Chiozza said the Gators weren’t intimidated by the atmosphere at Michigan State. “We actually kind of liked it,” Chiozza said. “We fed off it.” But clearly, it impacted some Florida players at the free-throw line.

— Florida coach Mike White said if the offense looks stagnant at times, it’s because he’s calling isolation plays. “Put it on me,” White said. “Dorian Finney-Smith is a mismatch guy, someone we are trying to get action for toward the basket. It’s part of the process we’re going through of figuring out what our strengths are and how we can utilize guys.”