Some observations following UF’s 80-65 win over East Tennessee State in the NCAA Tournament:
— Florida is at its best when its offense fuels its defense. The Gators raced to a 14-6 lead when it scored six quick points off turnovers, then got stagnant offensively in the halfcourt for the rest of the half. Florida outscoring ETSU 20-5 in points off turnovers was the difference from the game.
— Though Florida sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen struggled shooting from the floor (1-11, 1-9 from 3-point range), the North Little Rock, Ark., native contributed in other ways with 4 assists and 2 steals. Allen had an early steal that led to a Devin Robinson transition dunk, then found Robinson for a transition dunk on a pretty three-quarter court pass. Certainly, though, the Gators need Allen to heat up for the Gators to advance past the Round of 32 against Virginia.
— Florida outscored ETSU 25-18 in bench points. Point guard Chris Chiozza (14 points) was big off the bench, but the Gators need senior forward Canyon Barry to return to form. Barry dropped a pass on what would have been a wide-open layup in the first half and missed a short runner in the lane in the second half. The 6-foot-6 Barry is normally a better finisher and more sure-handed than that.