Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 89-65 win over Jacksonville


Some observations following UF’s 89-65 win over Jacksonville at the O’Connell Center:

— Florida first-year coach Mike White is still in a feeling-out process when it comes to playing a certain tempo. When the Gators try to play faster under White, like they did in the first half, the Gators are more prone to defensive lapses in transition. When the Gators slow it down, the offense gets bogged down, but the defense plays well.  “You’re wondering and you’re searching yourself and sometimes it’s the guys in the game,” White said. “And sometimes that determines how well we’re playing transition offense or transition defense or both. Sometimes it’s the flow of the game, whether or not shots are falling. I thought over the last three or four games we’ve gotten a lot better with transition offense and making better decisions, whether they are on makes and misses, and that effort has been led by our point guards, those two guys (Kasey Hill and Chris Chiozza), I think we are exhausting the break a lot more before we get into halfcourt execution, at least we’re exhausting the break and trying to see what’s there, whether it’s a man (defense) or a zone.”

— Freshman center Kevarrius Hayes had a nice effort inside against Jacksonville with 9 points and  a team-high 7 rebounds off the bench. The Gators outrebounded undersized Jacksonville 44-34, but center John Egbunu (5 rebounds) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (2 rebounds) were capable of more boards during the course of the game.

— Senior forward Alex Murphy was active off the bench with 3 points, 3 rebounds and a blocked shot in 11 minutes in his second game back from a plantar fascia tear. Murphy appeared to still be favoring his foot a bit when the Gators went up and down the court on the fast break, and may not be completely 100 percent. But Murphy’s corner 3-pointer to start the second half was an encouraging sign. Florida will need him as a factor off the bench on both ends of the floor when SEC play begins against Georgia in less than two weeks on Jan. 2.