Some observations following UF’s 68-58 win over Missouri.
– It was good to see senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin take charge and make clutch free-throws down the stretch. Wilbekin made 13 of 16 free throws against Missouri, including 7 of 8 in the final 2:23 to close out the game. Wilbekin has been much improved from the line in Southeastern Conference play, shooting 80 percent (44-55) through UF’s first nine conference games.
– It’s clear that Florida senior forward Casey Prather isn’t 100 percent back from an ankle sprain he suffered against Mississippi State. Prather got into early foul trouble against Missouri and wound up with just 5 points on 2 of 4 shooting. He also nearly had a bad turnover in the closing minutes against Missouri’s press, but UF was fortunate enough to retain possession with the possession arrow on a tie up. Fortunately, freshman point guard Kasey Hill stepped up with Prather on the bench with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists.
– Florida’s slow starts from the perimeter in its last two games hasn’t been as mind-boggling as you would think. The Gators went 1 of 12 from 3-point range in the first half against Texas A&M and 1 of 11 against Missouri. The reason? Florida failed the work the ball inside-out in the first half of both games. Florida was more effective getting the ball and scoring inside against Missouri, which loosened the defense on the perimeter and allowed sophomore guard Michael Frazier II to get better looks at the baskets. Frazier made all four of his 3-pointers in the second half.