Sports Illustrated picks Florida's 'critical weakness' – 247Sports
When Florida has hit its shots behind the arc, the Gators have looked like one of the deadliest teams in the country. When those shots aren’t falling? That’s when the Gators need a ‘plan B.’
Sports Illustrated’s Dan Greene looked at four contenders and what they needed to study and work on before the start of conference play. And Florida’s effort lies on the offensive end, inside of the arc.
When the Gators’ shots are falling, they can look capable of beating anybody. (Before Saturday, they’d been the closest to downing Duke, in a PK80 game they probably should have won.) Florida’s problem is that it can become over-reliant on outside shooting to the point of settling for iffy three-point tries rather than finding higher-percentage looks inside. It was cold shooting that spelled doom against Florida State (6-for-25 from three, which represented 43.1% of the Gators’ field goal tries) and Loyola Chicago (2-for-19). In both games the Gators struggled to penetrate zone defenses, which may provide a blueprint for how other teams can disrupt their offense going forward. The good news: In Saturday’s win over Cincinnati, they shot well from three (6-for-15) but were not trigger-happy or dependent on the shots for their scoring.
Some of that will improve once the Gators get John Egbunu back. He’s had moments where he’s looked the part of a dominant interior force. He averaged 15 points per game over his last six games as a sophomore. Then last year, he scored in double digits in his last two games — including 10 points in just eight minutes against Auburn before getting hurt.
Having another interior presence will only help, and should allow the Gators more interior balance, and put Florida back on the road toward contending for another Final Four.