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Hoops Scoop

Gator basketball news – delivered Brockway style

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 80-61 loss to Kentucky

Some observations following Florida’s 80-61 loss to Kentucky: – Florida coach Mike White and his staff may want to re-think about pressing to start the game against Kentucky when the two schools meet again at the O’Connell Center on March 1. Kentucky sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis broke the press effectively, and lapses in defensive transition allowed freshman guard Jamal Murray to get some early open looks from the 3-point line and get on a roll. Murray made his first… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 87-83 win over Arkansas

Some observations following Florida’s 87-83 win over Arkansas. – Florida point guard Chris Chiozza said the key to Florida’s improved free-throw shooting of late is that the Gators have been “taking something off” their free throws. “In the game, you have more adrenaline,” Chiozza said. “We always miss long. So we just had to take a little something off our free throws, just continue to do our routine and not get rushed.” Florida made 20 of its first 21 free-throw… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeways from UF’s 88-71 win over West Virginia

Some observations following UF’s 88-71 win over West Virginia on Saturday: – If only Florida sophomore center John Egbunu could stay out of foul trouble. The 6-foot-11 Egbunu was on his way to a big day against West Virginia, scoring 7 of UF’s first 19 points. But Egbunu picked up his second foul at the 11:51 mark of the first half and sat the rest of the half. It didn’t get better for Egbunu in the second half as he… Read More »

White: Robinson has maintained good attitude

The up-and-down career of Florida sophomore forward Devin Robinson continues to take different turns. The 6-foot-8 Robinson lost his starting job to Justin Leon when SEC play began, and the Chesterfield, Va., native has struggled of late, going 1 of 10 shooting off the bench over his last two games. But Robinson could get another chance to start Saturday against No. 9 West Virginia, with Leon doubtful for the game with a head injury. When asked how Robinson has embraced… Read More »

Huggins high on UF assistant Nichols

An interesting side-note in Saturday’s Florida-West Virginia, SEC-Big 12 Challenge game at the O’Connell Center is Florida assistant coach Darris Nichols facing his alma mater. Nichols was a four-year point guard at West Virginia who was recruited by John Beilein and played under both Beilein and current West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. After playing a year of pro basketball overseas, Nichols returned to West Virginia for a year to work under Huggins as a graduate assistant coach. “Darris had a… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 60-59 loss at Vanderbilt

Some observations from Florida’s 60-59 loss at Vanderbilt. – With forward Justin Leon hurt and center John Egbunu in foul trouble, Florida needed some frontcourt reserves to step up. But none answered the bell. Center Schuyler Rimmer missed a wide open layup, forward DeVon Walker air-balled a free throw and forward Devin Robinson struggled defensively off the bench. Robinson, Rimmer, Walker and Kevarrius Hayes combined to go 0 of 8 from the floor for just 2 points. – The Gators… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 95-63 win over Auburn

Some observations following Florida’s 95-63 win over Auburn: – Though Florida coach Mike White was pleased with UF’s scoring balance (five players in double figures) and ball movement (20) he was still concerned about UF’s high number of turnovers (16), which Auburn converted into 21 points. The Gators have given up 79 points  off turnovers over their last four games, “We have to get back to taking better care of the ball when we play fast,” White said. – Freshman… Read More »

Gator pg commit climbing in recruiting rankings

In his first year playing in America, Florida 2017 point guard commitment Shai Alexander is developing nicely. And recruiting analysts from throughout the country are starting to take notice. Off a strong showing last month at the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Meyers, the 6-foot-3 Alexander has risen to the 40th best prospect in the nation, according to ESPN.com’s Super 60 2017 rankings. Alexander, an Ontario, Canada, native, is playing this season at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga,… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 81-78 win over Mississippi State

Some observations following Florida’s 81-78 win over Mississippi State at the O’Connell Center. – Florida coach Mike White told me the reason why the Gators didn’t hold for the final shot of the first half had to do with the mis-execution of a play. White called for a “spread” play, in which point guard Kasey Hill is supposed to start his drive to the basket with eight seconds left in the first half. Instead, Hill started it with 11 seconds… Read More »

With leadership weight lifted, Finney-Smith playing better

Florida senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith is in the midst of his most consistent stretch of the season. And perhaps, not by coincidence, it came shortly after a meeting with Florida coach Mike White. White had expected Finney-Smith, a fifth-year senior, to take on a vocal leadership role this season. But White found that the responsibility of vocal leadership was out of Finney-Smith’s comfort zone. So the first-year UF coach told Finney-Smith to just focus on himself. “It kind of like,… Read More »