Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 80-61 loss to Kentucky


Some observations following Florida’s 80-61 loss to Kentucky:

— Florida coach Mike White and his staff may want to re-think about pressing to start the game against Kentucky when the two schools meet again at the O’Connell Center on March 1. Kentucky sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis broke the press effectively, and lapses in defensive transition allowed freshman guard Jamal Murray to get some early open looks from the 3-point line and get on a roll. Murray made his first five 3-point attempts and finished with a career-high 35 points.

— Even with Kentucky senior forward Alex Poythress out with a knee injury, the Wildcats outrebounded Florida 37-28 and allowed a physically inferior UK frontline to grab 11 offensive rebounds. It was a poor effort on the boards for a Gator team that’s normally better on the glass.

— A silver lining in the Kentucky loss was that Florida redshirt freshman Brandone Francis-Ramirez had another decent game off the bench. Francis-Ramirez had 7 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes, going 3 of 7 from the floor and 1 of 4 from 3-point range. As a 6-foot-5 guard, Francis-Ramirez is appearing to regain his confidence and has a chance to be a factor off the bench the rest of the season because of his physicality, shooting ability and ability to handle the ball.