Fastbreak: No. 17 Miami dispatches Florida 66-55 in another uneven outing for Gators

By Adam Silverstein
December 8, 2015

Florida Gators basketball (6-2) trailed for all but 31 seconds of Tuesday night’s game against the No. 17 Miami Hurricanes (8-1), falling 66-55 to its in-state rivals on the road at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

The Gators have now fallen to the two best teams they’ve faced this season and only have a much tougher opponent on deck Saturday night. breaks down Tuesday’s win with six quick-hitters:

Bogus backcourt: Inefficient guard play doomed Florida on Tuesday. Point guards junior Kasey Hill and sophomore Chris Chiozza were completely ineffective against Miami, combining to go 2-for-11 (0-for-5 from three) with six points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, five turnovers and 10 fouls (five each). Meanwhile, Canes guards Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez absolutely torched the Gators, combining to score two-thirds of their team’s points (41) on 12-of-20 shooting (6-of-9 from three, 11-of-12 from the charity stripe) with eight boards and four steals.

Important yet inconsistent: Redshirt senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith has played well at times this season but had yet another uneven performance Tuesday, scoring 12 point on 4-of-7 shooting with six rebounds but hitting just 3-of-8 free throws and finishing with a team worst -15 in the plus-minus.

At least they got -nu: For all of Florida’s issues, redshirt sophomore center John Egbunu has been a bright spot for the Gators. He once again led Florida in scoring (14 points), hitting all four of his free throws and grabbing five boards, though he did have four fouls in 30 minutes.

U-G-L-Y, they aint got no alibi: Florida hit 8.3 percent of its threes, 62.5 percent of its free throws and was outrebounded by 11. The Gators also allowed the Canes to cruise to victory despite four of the host’s players combinging to go 0-fo-r12 from the field. The rest of Miami’s team – those that made baskets – did so at a rate of 51.3 percent.

Everything else: Sophomore F Devin Robison also finished in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, adding six boards and a couple dimes … UF actually forced more turnovers than it committed for once (14-10) … the Gators led for a total of 13 seconds … despite playing seven players off the bench, Florida only benefited with 10 points

Up next: The Gators will take on the No. 1 Spartans (9-0) in East Lansing on Saturday at 6 p.m. Michigan State will celebrate its 2000 NCAA title victory over Florida during the contest, which is almost assuredly set to be a huge win for MSU over a UF team that has struggled – losing by a combined 26 points – against the best teams its faced this season.


  1. scroud says:

    That game was painful to watch, kind of like our offense in football. The point guards are killing us.
    I think there is a lot of individual talent on the team, but they just aren’t playing in sync. Hopefully as the year progresses they will gel, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Kasey Hill and Chris Walker will go down as the biggest busts in all of Donovan’s years here. 2 5 star players that never achieved anywhere near their supposed potential.

      These guys give great effort, have great energy and athleticism, but they can’t shoot at all. I was saying that this game and the next 2 will gauge how our season will go and with the improved SEC, It is looking like NIT at best, maybe no post-season at this point without major improvement.

  2. 1974Gator says:

    This group doesn’t seem to have the speed and tenacity that we have become used to seeing. The press is ineffective and seems halfhearted. They also aren’t defending the 3 well. Miami did not look sharp at all and we just moped along not taking advantage of their miscues. I got tired of watching them early in the second half. Where’s the 40 minutes of havoc we were told to expect from this coach?

  3. Michael Jones says:

    Basketball is weird in this state. We have great HS players, just like in football, but they don’t stay in state. Until that changes Florida schools will struggle.

    • 1974Gator says:

      Let’s examine that statement because I don’t agree. Of the ESPN Top 100 HS basketball players since 2012 there were 20 from Florida. 20 out of 400 = 5%, that’s not saying much for the state of Florida HS basketball programs and not saying much about how many we need to keep in state. Of those 20 the Gators signed 7 (2015 – Stone, Hayes; 2014 – Francis; 2013 – Hill, Chris Walker and Ugbunu (by way of Univ of South Florida); 2012 – Ogbueze). 4 are still on our roster but not contributing much this season, with the exception of Ugbunu a Nigerian. With few exceptions, the ones that got away weren’t that great either. The conclusion I draw is: 1) the Gators are getting their fair share of the HS talent in the state and 2) we should be spending more time scouting and signing out of state players!

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