Given that point guards Chris Chiozza and Kasey Hill both have played at a high level over the last two games, Florida coach Mike White was asked if the two could play together more frequently moving forward.
If Kasey continues to play really well and Chris continues to play consistent, we’ll play those guys more and more together,” White said. “But KeVaughn Allen and Brandone Francis-Ramirez, I’m sure would have something to say, regarding that. because KeVaughn is coming off his best game and Brandone had his best practice in about a month. Those are good problems to have.
“At certain times of the year, maybe we can play three guards, maybe we can play three little guys and not be as good on the offensive glass but be a better ball-handling or better shooting team if those guys are in a rhythm making shots. I’m open for whatever, just whatever helps us win that particular game.”
Allen is coming off one of his better games of the season against Oklahoma State, finishing with 11 points, 2 steals and 2 rebounds. Francis-Ramirez remains mired in a deep shooting funk (0 for 10 over his last five games) but is coming off a practice on Monday in which he hit a high volume of shots.
“I haven’t figured out as a head coach to help it carry over into a game,” White said. “I’m searching and Brandone is searching. I know he’s a better shooter than what he’s shot in games. A lot of it’s trial and error. We’ve tried different things, we’ve tried starting him, we’ve tried bringing him off the bench, we’ve tried talking to him about shot selection, and then I’ve also told him during different points in the season, be aggressive and let it fly, don’t think so much about shot selection, I want you to be really, really confident. That hasn’t seemed to be the answer, either. We’ve really challenged him to be in the gym a lot more and over the last two-and-a-half, three weeks he’s been in the gym a lot more than the first month or so.”
White said that his player rotation this season has been based on feel, or a hot hand if a player is producing. Senior forward Alex Murphy was added to the mix on Saturday after sitting out the start of the season with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot. Murphy had 4 points on 2-of-4 shooting in 8 minutes off the bench.
“I’ve never really been high on at the first media timeout, I’m going to try to get this guy in and take this guy out and play this guy, with this guy,” White said. “For me, especially going through a transition, especially when you don’t know what you’re gonna get because of the unique makeup of this roster, with the seven new guys, we base playing time by ear during the game based on productivity.”
– Allen just gave his second interview of the season on Monday. The soft-spoken, 6-foot-2 freshman guard from North Little Rock, Ark., remains shy, but has let his game do the talking on-and-off this season. Coming off his third double-figure scoring game of the season against Oklahoma State (11 points), Allen is averaging 6.7 points on the season.
Allen was asked if he’s getting more adjusted to the speed of the college game, “It’s been a big adjustment, but overall, I’ve been getting used to it,” Allen said. “The speed of the game, just trying to put myself in situations.” Allen also said he feels like he needs to be more assertive. “In college, it might not seem like you are open, but you really are,” Allen said. “That’s when you have to have confidence and just step up and just knock down shots, just know the separation that they give you, you’ve got to shoot it.”