Fastbreak: No. 5 Florida ‘soft’ in embarrassing home loss to Florida State

By Adam Silverstein
December 5, 2017
Fastbreak: No. 5 Florida ‘soft’ in embarrassing home loss to Florida State

Image Credit: Tim Casey/UAA

No. 5 Florida Gators basketball (5-2) played its worst game of head coach Mike White‘s entire tenure on Monday night when it hosted the Florida State Seminoles (7-0) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Noles took down the Gators 83-66, dominating nearly every facet of the contest en route to a massive upset that will surely knock UF down the AP Top 25 significantly next week.

Let’s take a look at Florida’s latest loss in Fastbreak:

It was over when … It’s hard to pinpoint the moment because the Gators were truly never in this game. Even when Florida did something right, it immediately cost itself by either turning the ball over, not running back on defense or failing to rebound effectively. At one point midway through the second half, the Gators missed 13 straight field goals and committed three turnovers in a span of 13 possessions. They trailed by 14 at that point and went behind by 19 with 1:02 to play.

Exceptional efforts: Freshman guard Deaundrae Ballard was the only Florida player who played with any shred of consistency, and even he only shot 40 percent from the floor. Ballard finished with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds, only committing one turnover in 21 minutes.

Disaster strikes: Nearly everyone else on the Gators failed in some way on Monday. Graduate transfer G Egor Koulechov (11 points) went 4-for-13 from the field and 1-for-7 from long range. Redshirt junior G Jalen Hudson (16 points), an 80 percent free throw shooter, went 4-for-9 from the line. Sophomore G Kevaughn Allen (15 points) went 4-for-11 from the field and 1-for-6 from deep. Senior point guard Chris Chiozza missed all five of his shot attempts and committed four turnovers. Sophomore center Kevarrius Hayes was completely ineffective with two boards, three turnovers and three fouls in 22 minutes. It was so bad that White only had one way in which to describe his team’s performance. “Tonight was the epitome of soft,” he said.

Odds and ends: Florida State won by 17 despite shooting 39 percent from the field … FSU took 14 more shots by virtue of a season-high 17 turnovers by UF, which the Noles converted into 19 points … the Gators were beat on the glass (51-34), on second chances (24-8), in the paint (36-20) and on fastbreaks (12-2) … Florida shot 36 percent from the field and hit just 6-of-25 threes with only seven assists on 21 made baskets … FSU has now defeated UF four straight times on the hardwood for the first time in series history

What it means: One week after choking away a massive lead against No. 1 Duke, Florida laid down for its hated rival at home. There is no explanation for the Gators’ lack of effort on Monday night. The Noles did come up with a tremendous game plan — and credit to them for doing so — but even in a loss Florida should have played way better than it did in this game. Lack of size is not an excuse for UF in this one, and White did not make any excuses after the game. “We spent the last 24 hours talking about throwing the first punch, throwing the first punch. They threw the first three or four punches,” he said. “They threw most of them and continued to throw them until the final buzzer.”

Up next: Florida should have an opportunity for a get-right game in less than 48 hours when it hosts Loyola Chicago on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The game will air live nationally on SEC Network. It is the second of three games the Gators will play in six days this week.

One Comment

  1. HoneyBeez says:

    Is it just me, but I turned the game off about 13 minutes left in the second half because the gators were playing tired. It seemed like they weren’t playing with any energy and couldn’t get it together to win that game. I’m wondering if the coach is over working these players…

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