Some observations following UF’s 72-62 overtime loss to Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
— Florida took too many wild, off-balanced shots, particularly in the first half when the Gators went just 11 of 33 from the field to fall behind 33-28. Devin Robinson and Kasey Hill took some ill-advised ones and even senior forward Canyon Barry tried to force his own offense into the teeth of Vanderbilt’s defense. Florida finished the game shooting 34.4 percent for the game and with the game on the line, went just 1 of 6 from the floor in overtime.
— The Gators showed signs of life in the second half by going to a full court press, which threw Vandy off a bit. Florida also tinkered with a matchup zone that was effective at times. The Gators outscored Vanderbilt 13-12 in points off turnovers. “We hadn’t man-to-man pressed much this season at all and I thought our speed guys, Kasey (Hill), Chris (Chiozza) and KeVaughn (Allen), they really put forth a lot of energy,” Florida coach Mike White said. “I don’t know how much we can do it moving forward, but I thought it was pretty good to us tonight.”
— Florida badly needs more offense from center Kevarrius Hayes, who was 1 of 5 from the floor and missed a few short jumpers. The 6-foot-9 Hayes showed good energy on the defensive end with a pair of blocked shots. But just two points in 32 minutes on the floor isn’t going to cut it in NCAA Tournament play.