'Hard to beat anybody' when No. 5 Florida misses shots – FOXSports.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida coach Mike White walked through the basketball facility Thursday carrying a cup of coffee in one hand and an ink pen in the other.
Given how the fifth-ranked Gators have played recently, the need for both was obvious: Late nights ahead and new ideas to draw up.
Florida (5-3) has lost three consecutive games, including two in three days to unranked opponents at home. It’s a significant slide that has White reassessing everything about his seemingly overrated team.
”None of it’s been shocking,” White said. ”We’re just a very average defensive and rebounding team, and when we’re not making shots, it’s hard to beat anybody.”
If the Gators don’t end their losing streak Saturday against No. 17 Cincinnati in New Jersey, they almost certainly will become the second team this season to fall out of The Associated Press Top 25 in a week after a top-five ranking. Then-No. 2 Arizona did it last month.
”We can’t panic,” White said.
Definitely not, but White also rattled off a list of improvements the Gators need to make quickly:
Fewer mental mistakes on both ends. More drives in hopes of getting to the free-throw line. Faster pace of play. Improved perimeter defense. Heightened awareness in regards to help defense.
At the top of the list: Better shot selection.
Florida made 16 of 64 shots (25 percent) from 3-point range during the three-game slide, including a 2-of-19 performance in a 65-59 loss to Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday night.
Egor Koulechov, a graduate transfer from Rice who was lighting it up three weeks ago, has missed 15 of his last 18 shots from behind the arc.
”No way I saw this coming,” White said. ”We’ve tried to hammer the point home, especially in the past 48 hours: `Let’s make sure your first