The Gators kept it rolling Thursday night with a big 108-68 win over the North Florida Ospreys. KeVaughn Allen lead the way for Florida with 18 points and 5 rebounds as Trip Day lead the Ospreys with 13 points and 7 boards. Following up an explosive 116 point performance on night one of the season, the Gators’ firepower has continued to wow and entertain. Though the sample size is small and the opposition hasn’t been the toughest, they are a top-10 team in offensive efficiency and keeping that up through the tough part of the non-conference schedule will be a challenge the team will be happy to embrace.
Going in to this game we knew both teams were going to get a ton of 3-pointers up, and Florida dominated this category going 11-24 as opposed to North Florida’s 7-27. Selfless ball movement for the Gators lead to plenty of wide open looks, and a concentrated effort not to leave shooters left the Ospreys without much daylight from beyond the arc.
The Gators were able to hold the Ospreys’ big three of Ivan Gandia-Rosa, J.T. Escobar, and Garrett Sams to a combined 21 points on 8-25 shooting. They entered this game combing for 44 points per game, so the game plan Mike White used to limit their effectiveness was definitely effective.
Coach White showed tonight that he is willing to reward or withhold minutes based on the players’ performance both during the game and in past practices. We first saw this with Gorjok Gak (12 points, 3 steals) getting the start over Kevarrius Hayes (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals). Perhaps more interesting was the performance of Keith Stone after he was pulled and then re-inserted into the game. After a nonchalant opening night for Stone, an improved effort was expected from him tonight. A lazy closeout on one of the first defensive possessions gave him the quick pull, and Coach White made him refocus. Once he subbed back in he was immediately an impact player and ended the game with 14 points and 4 rebounds.
Spreading It Out
The Gators had six players score in double figures tonight, a testament to the depth they possess. The wings are definitely highlighted in the Gators’ attack, as Egor Koulechov, Jalen Hudson, Deaundrae Ballard, and KeVaughn Allen combined for 55 points. Having so many weapons will make the Gators a tough scout for opposing teams, and also ensures plenty of options should injuries or foul trouble limit.
Sharing the Rock
The Gators had 23 assists on 42 made field goals, a tremendous ratio that would bring a smile to the face of every coach in the country. Last year’s roster really struggled to get playmaking from anyone other Kasey Hill and Chris Chiozza so to see several non-point guards get multiple assists is very encouraging and speaks to the effectiveness of the offensive scheme.
Players of the Game
I couldn’t go without mentioning former managers and current walk-ons Andrew Fava and Mak Krause who not only both got into the game for over three minutes, but got on the score sheet. Krause was able to knock down a free throw after getting tripped going to the basket, and Fava had two layups including a pretty reverse finish for his second bucket. Congratulations to these two amazing Gators.
What did you think of tonight’s performance? Leave a comment here or post on the Gator Country forums.