Florida Gators guards speak on offseason improvements

Written by Spencer Reed

With the conclusion of Wednesday’s SEC Men’s Basketball Media Day, basketball season is just right around the corner. All the hard work and preparation that players put in during the offseason will finally come to fruition.

This is especially true for Gator guards Chris Chiozza and Kevaughn Allen.

Although Chris Chiozza has given the Gators extremely valuable minutes throughout his first three years at UF, he is most recognized for his buzzer-beater shot against Wisconsin that sent the Gators to their fifth Elite Eight in the past seven years.

Now, with the departure of Kasey Hill, Chiozza is set to take the helm of the Gators offense.

As a junior, Chiozza averaged 7.2 points per game, 3.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds. To go along with those numbers, he led the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4) last season.

Despite those solid numbers, he shot 41 percent from the field last season and just 31 percent from downtown. The mature senior recognized his flaws and worked diligently in the offseason to improve all aspects of his game, especially his shot.

“Last year I was inconsistent, so I’ve just been working on trying to shoot the basketball the same every time and just building my confidence back up to where it needs to be,” Chiozza said.

As a more defensive-minded team last year, Florida ran a fairly simple offense. Basically, it was just a bunch of pick and rolls and weak side movement.

However, with the return of the Gators leading scorer in Allen, as well as the addition of a few new faces, the Gators are set to implement a new, explosive offense.

“This year, we have a lot more movement all over the court because we have so much more offensive firepower,” Chiozza said. “It’s going to be a little bit different than it was last year, but it’s going to be fun to watch.”

Chris Chiozza isn’t the only player that is going to reap the benefits of the new and improved Gator offense.

Junior standout Allen led the Gators with 14 points per game last season, while shooting 43 percent from the field.

Set to be the leader of the new offense, Allen worked on his shot and made it a point of emphasis to be more vocal on the court.

“I just gotta be more vocal to other guys,” Allen said. “I’ve just been working on my shot to be more consistent.”

What makes Allen such an elite scorer, is not only his ability to make plays on and off the ball but also his ability to get to the free-throw line. Allen shot a team-best 88.3 percent from the charity stripe last year and has the all intentions to get back there as many times as possible in the upcoming season.

“I just gotta be more aggressive and just kind of find more contact when driving to the hole,” Allen said.

 

 

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

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