TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Coach Mike White and his Florida basketball team had just absorbed an 86-71 whipping Tuesday night, courtesy of host Alabama. White watched the Crimson Tide fly around the Coleman Coliseum floor, doing the kinds of the things and playing with the kind of unbridled effort he saw from the Gators in winning their first two games of the Southeastern Conference season.
His take on the Tide was troubling.
“I thought they played harder than us,” White said. “You hate to ever admit that, but that’s reality.”
A trio of Bama players scored a team-high 16 points to pace a thoroughly balanced attack that ran and guarded the entire 94 feet with abandon. Backup guard Keon Ellis got his 16 by hitting five of six shots, including all three of his 3-pointers. Guards Herb Jones and Jalen Shackelford got the bulk of their 16 on blow-bys against UF defenders who were a step behind most of the night. Reserve forward James Rojas had 15 off the bench and guard John Petty added 12 points.
Those five players — by themselves — tallied 75 points for Alabama (8-3, 3-0), which was four more points than Florida (5-2, 2-1) managed in shooting just 39.7 percent from