Between starting SEC play on a 3-0 to losing a conference winning streak, the Florida Gators basketball team continued to show the one thing they have all year, inconsistency.
It’s a factor that has hurt the team all season and head coach Billy Donovan noted that the team’s two biggest hurdles are maintaining discipline and a level of consistency for long stretches of games.
Here are the 5 Takeaways from Florida’s last two conference games:
Going The Distance
For a complete 40 minutes, Florida led against Auburn and never looked back. The Gators didn’t allow the Tigers to remotely come close and they showed how to win in conference play. Although it wasn’t against a quality opponent, that’s what your team is supposed to do against your opponent whether they are good or bad. Limiting Auburn to 32 percent shooting and leaving them in a 17-point deficit at the half diminished the Tigers’ chances at stealing one on the road. That’s how Florida needs to play and they can actually learn a thing or two from their good performances.
The Gators’ 61 points versus Georgia was the fewest they’ve scored in a true road game this year and the third lowest overall. The other two games that were low-scoring were against UConn (59) and UAB (56). Florida is now averaging 67.6 points per game this season, which isn’t bad, but the scoring margin has narrowed to 9.9 points against their opponents.
672 days later…
The last time Florida lost in an Southeastern conference game the date was March 17, 2013 when the Ole Miss Rebels defeated the Gators 66-63. Since then, Florida went on a 24-game winning streak in the SEC, which was the second longest streak in the conference only led by Kentucky’s 26 games from the 1995-1996 season. Entering Saturday, the Gators started SEC play with a 3-0 record and looked to keep extending the streak up until their first matchup against Kentucky, but the Georgia Bulldogs ended those hopes. This marks the second streak that was snapped against the Gators this season. First, the home winning streak of 33 games broken by Miami and now the SEC streak.
Against Auburn, Florida looked elite. Against Georgia, they were just the opposite. Playing greatly at home to rout the Tigers by 20 had fans hoping this would be the turnaround for the Gators, but this stretch of the next four games only will test how much of a team they are and it started against Georgia. What side of the spectrum will the Gators end up on Tuesday against LSU and Saturday versus Ole Miss? Donovan has said it himself that the level of consistency on the team isn’t stable. It has been obvious all year.
Handing Out Gifts
Florida committed their season-high 19 turnovers against Georgia Saturday. If you watched the game, you could agree at least half of the team’s turnovers were unforced. Among traveling or throwing the ball away, Florida just carelessly handed the ball away. The Bulldogs were just receiving gifts and converting on the other end. The Gators only committed an average of 13.6 turnovers in first three SEC games and that was well eclipsed on Saturday, especially by the 10 in the first half.