Much of the immediate comments I received following Florida’s 74-71 overtime loss to Butler centered around why Vernon Macklin wasn’t on the court at the end of regulation.
Macklin was 2 of 3 from the free-throw line at that point, but entered the game just a 44.3 percent free throw shooter.
Would Butler have fouled Macklin on purpose with the score tied? It’s debatable, but coaches tend to think in worst-case scenarios. If Macklin was sent to the line before the end of regulation and made just one of two free throws, Butler would have had the ball at the end of regulation with a chance to win the game.
But it is somewhat mystifying that for a team that had three double-digit scorers remaining on the floor, that the best remaining option was for junior point guard Erving Walker to hold the ball for 20 seconds and fire up a 24-footer. Walker missed one at the end of regulation like that against Jacksonville as well. Granted, Walker had hit some big shots late in games during the course of the season, but perhaps at least an attempt to penetrate could have drawn the defense to him.
Where was the ball movement, the player movement at the end of regulation? It’s something that Donovan and the returning players will have to think about for the entire offseason.