Some observations following UF’s 84-82 overtime win at Arkansas:
– It’s time for Florida coach Billy Donovan to consider elevating sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith to the starting lineup. Finney-Smith responded in his second career start at Florida with a career-high 22 points, 15 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists, rising to the occasion with Casey Prather injured. When Prather comes back, a starting frontline of Prather, Finney-Smith and Patric Young would be tough for most Southeastern Conference teams to handle. You would lose some defense with Will Yeguete coming off the bench, but Finney-Smith would make up for it with rebounding, putbacks and even some perimeter shooting.
– Florida again struggled for most of the afternoon from 3-point range, but made clutch 3s when it mattered. The Gators started the game 6-for-21 from beyond the arc before hitting 3 of their last 4 near the end of regulation and in overtime to finish 36 percent (9-25) from 3-point range. Big-shot makers included sophomore Michael Frazier (a 3-pointer that tied the score at 64 in regulation), Scottie Wilbekin (a 3-pointer that put Florida up 71-66 in overtime) and Finney-Smith (a 3-pointer that extended UF’s lead to 75-69 in OT).
– Freshman McDonald’s All-American point guard Kasey Hill is going through some growing pains in SEC play. Hill had a nice driving basket down the stretch against Arkansas, but finished with 6 points, 5 assists and 5 turnovers in 37 minutes against the Razorbacks. The lowlights for Hill included a near-costly travel with 17.7 seconds left and a turnover in overtime when he dribbled the ball off his foot trying to bring the ball up against Arkansas’ press. In his first two SEC games, Hill’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 7 to 7.