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Hoops Scoop

Gator basketball news – delivered Brockway style

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 »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 80-71 win over Ole Miss

Some observations following Florida’s 80-71 win over Ole Miss: – Sports sometimes is about redemption, so credit junior point guard Kasey Hill with a strong effort off the bench against Ole Miss. After some bad decisions and missed free throws down the stretch against Texas A&M, Hill was much better against Ole Miss, with 11 points and four straight free throws down the stretch. On defense, Hill did a strong job containing Ole Miss senior guard Stefan Moody, getting two… Read More »

White, Gators trying to solve FT hex

The results don’t show it, but Florida coach Mike White said he is blending in as much free-throw shooting in practice as he has in his five years as a head coach. “I’ve said it for the last couple of months and I stand by it. I can’t imagine there’s a team that shoots more fatigued free throws in practice, in between live segments, in the country,” White said. “Maybe there are teams that do it. I’m doing way more… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 71-68 loss at Texas A&M

Some observations following UF’s 71-68 loss to Texas A&M at Reed Arena. – Florida coach Mike White credited Alex Caruso’s defense in shutting down freshman guard KeVaughn Allen, who was held scoreless during 18 foul-plagued minutes against Texas A&M. But White also felt the 6-foot-2 Allen could have been more aggressive during some stretches. Allen took just four shot attempts, going 0 of 4 from the floor. “He’s had a few games like this, where you dare him to shoot… Read More »

Change at the point paying dividends

Florida coach Mike White was asked Monday how the change of moving Chris Chiozza to starting point guard and Kasey Hill to the backup has impacted both players. Chiozza has posted a 33-to-4 assist-to-turnover since becoming UF’s starter at the point a month ago, including a masterful 8 assist to 0 turnover performance on Saturday against LSU. “We try not to make a big deal of starting and not starting,” White said. “In fact, we don’t even have conversations with… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida’s 68-62 win over LSU

Some observations following UF’s 68-62 win over LSU at the O’Connell Center: – Sophomore point guard Chris Chiozza had an unsung performance in Florida’s win. Yes, Chiozza was just 2 of 10 from the floor, but the sophomore from Memphis also was steady with 8 assists to 0 turnovers. Chiozza found John Egbunu and Devin Robinson on a pair of alley-oops that brought energy to the crowd, taking advantage of holes in LSU’s defense. “I think Justin (Leon) got two… Read More »

White talks player rotation

Since the beginning of the season, Florida coach Mike White has considered his team’s bench a strength. But with the Gators having lost two of their last three games with a critical matchup against LSU at home on Saturday, it’s caused some to wonder whether White is playing too many players, or the right players at the right time. White addressed the state of his player rotation on Friday. “It’s gonna be game to game,” White said. “If we start… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 83-69 loss at Tennessee

Some observations following UF’s 83-69 loss at Tennessee: – Tennessee assistant coach Rob Lanier told me after the game that senior guard Kevin Punter, “has taken advantage of his opportunity and run with it.” Still, the Gators made it too easy for Punter all night, beginning with the early miscommunication on a defensive switch that allowed Punter to score his first basket en route to a 26-point night.  “He had an open look for two early, and it gets him… Read More »