Some observations following UF’s 91-63 win over Eckerd College:
— Florida sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen had an off shooting night from the perimeter (4-10 from floor, 0-3 from 3-point range). But credit Allen for using his athleticism to impact the game by driving to the basket and using defense to create offense. Allen had six steals, including two that resulted in breakaway dunks. Florida coach Mike White said Allen is lighter this season and has been more active on both ends of the floor as a result, “He’s got great hands, great feet,” White said. Certainly, any improvement Allen makes defensively this season will help the Gators in the front of the press. Florida scored 31 points off turnovers against Eckerd and created more havoc with the press in the second half.
— It’s imperative for Florida’s bigs to stay out of foul trouble this season. Backup sophomore center Kevarrius Hayes picked up three first-half fouls, including two quick ones early. Hayes (9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocked shots) is UF’s best post defender but needs to toe the fine line between playing aggressive and fouling. With Hayes and Florida junior center John Egbunu both on the bench with two first-half fouls, Eckerd went right at Florida senior walk-on center Schuyler Rimmer and was able to finish at the rim at will late in the first half.
— Redshirt freshman forward Keith Stone has potential to help the Gators off the bench this season. Though Stone was just 1 of 7 from the floor, the 6-foot-8 forward did hit a 3-pointer in transition and wasn’t afraid to mix it up inside with 5 rebounds (four defensive). Stone is a vastly improved athlete thanks to a season working with Florida strength and conditioning coach Preston Greene. His shooting stroke is sound and more than half of his shot attempts went in-and-out. Some softer rims would have helped him Wednesday night.