Some observations following UF’s 77-63 win over Georgia on Saturday night at the O’Connell Center:
— If Florida sophomore center John Egbunu can continue to battle on the boards the way he did Saturday night against Georgia, the Gators are capable of winning a bundle of SEC games. Egbunu played his best game in more than a month, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. His work on the glass allowed Florida to retain critical possessions in the final 10 minutes It was Egbunu’s third double-double of the season and first since finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Richmond.
— For the third straight game, forward Dorian Finney-Smith had a lackluster first half, going scoreless with two fouls and two turnovers in 8 minutes. Finney-Smith tried to force his offense against Georgia’s best post defender, Yante Maten, instead of letting the game come to him. The Gators need Finney-Smith two put two good halves together as SEC competition improves going forward.
— White said that junior point guard Kasey Hill took more than 300 free throws in practice on Saturday before the game. But Hill went 8 of 16 from the free-throw line against Georgia, contributing to Florida’s overall 26 of 41 effort from the charity stripe (58.5 percent). Despite Hill’s foul shooting woes, Florida coach Mike White said he still plans to keep Hill, a 56 percent free-throw shooter on the season, on the floor in late-game situations with the Gators ahead. “I think Kasey will step up and hit big ones for us in big games,” White said. “I really do. And I do think there’s a diffence between being up 2 of 3 and being up 9 or 10. Your focus should be there at all times, it should be. But year I think Kasey is growing, I think his confidence is improving and there will be times this year he converts some pressure free throws this year, that lead to a win.”