After taking down Miami in their first “secret” scrimmage the Gators came away victorious once again, reportedly beating FIU 102-60.
Last season FIU finished 210th in KenPom and enters the 2023-24 season projected 183rd–so they were a quality mid-major opponent for the Gators to test themselves against and it appears things couldn’t have gone much better.
Florida started the same lineup as they did against Miami:
Leading the way for Florida was Will Richard who had 29 points in just under 22 minutes, and he did it largely by getting into the paint and attacking the rim. Last year Richard was largely a perimeter player but he is looking to show he has more to his game, and this performance might be a glimpse into what we can expect this season. Richard was 6-6 from two-point range and 8-8 from the free throw line showing just how much he was able to get inside and finish efficiently.
Next in line was Riley Kugel who had 19 points while also chipping in 4 assists. Sources at the game said it appeared like he was making an effort to be a distributor and spread the ball around as much as possible and it resulted in some well-earned assists.
Another notable stat line came from Alex Condon who had 12 rebounds and 4 blocks in 20 minutes of action. Florida’s staff thinks he can be a contributor right away with his length and effort and that seemed to be on full display in this scrimmage. Another positive sign for Condon was 3 assists, which once again speaks to the unselfishness Condon is known for.
A focus for the Gators was playing faster and they did just that, making it a high-possession game and finishing with 36 points on the fast break (while allowing just 3 fast break points for FIU). While they were able to score effectively with the up-tempo offense it wasn’t without some negatives as the Gators did have 19 turnovers. If the Gators are going to play faster they will have to live with some turnovers, and scrimmages are great opportunities to try things out like playing as fast as possible to see what works.
If you’re looking for a negative from Florida’s performance it’s that they once again struggled to shoot the three, finishing 7-22 (32%). That number isn’t atrocious, but coming off the Miami scrimmage where the Gators struggled to shoot they certainly would have liked a better performance. A particularly concerning shooting performance came from Walter Clayton who was 1-6 from deep. In a one game sample you could brush off a performance like that, but it’s noticeable that in the scrimmage against Miami Walter was also, you guessed it–1-6 from three. It’s still a tiny sample size and there shouldn’t be any major takeaways from two scrimmages, but Florida would certainly feel better if one of their better projected shooters didn’t go 2-12 from three in these games.
The one player who did look good shooting the ball was Will Richard who was 3-6 from three.
Next on Florida’s tune up schedule will be the intersquad “Orange & Blue” scrimmage taking place in Gainesville on November 2nd.