ALABAMA 68, FLORIDA 50
I purposely included Florida’s number 23 ranking in the title of this article because it will likely be the last time this year we see a number associated with this team until postseason play begins.
Florida fans were treated to one of the worst halves of basketball by a Gators team in a long time. And, to add insult to injury, Florida football coach Dan Mullen attended the game with top-WR target Jacob Copeland (who is also considering Alabama).
Florida actually played really well in the first half. The Gators attacked the basket and knocked down shots. Commentators actually praised the use of Keith Stone during the broadcast.
The second half showed just how much of a Jekyll and Hyde type team this is. The Gators not only couldn’t throw a stone into the ocean and they also seemed to forget how to play defense.
Too often a missed three-pointer resulted in a quick run-out for the Tide that almost always seemed to result in an inside bucket. The Gators were outrebounded to the tune of 43-25 and allowed Alabama to make 55.8% of their field goals. After Florida forced 14 first half turnovers, the Tide corrected themselves (or possibly, Florida’s lack of interest did) and only committed five in the final twenty minutes.
Mike White has a big problem on his hands. And this time, it’s not a matter of their front court, though that will need to be addressed later. Mike White has emphasized defensive intensity in his tenure at Florida. At times, this team is as feisty as any in the country. But, as has been familiar at times this year, this team also folds shop on that end at the first site of shots not falling. That is a problem That neither John Egbunu nor Chase Johnson can fix.
KeVaughn Allen finished with a team high 16 points while Stone added 12. Egor Koulechov scored 11 more for Florida.
Alabama point guard Colin Sexton led all scorers with 17 points while forward Donta Hall added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Hall made all seven of his shot attempts to highlight Florida’s lack of interior defense.
At this point in the season, this is the team we are stuck with. Either the shots go down and Florida wins, or the shots don’t and the Gators lose. We are what we are!
Florida will face LSU in Gainesville on Wednesday. LSU is 13-9 and defeated Arkansas 94-86 on Saturday. Florida hasn’t scored 90+ points since SEC play began and has only put 80 on the scoreboard three times in the same timeframe.