Three Takeaways: Florida Hoops Flips A Switch, Handles Miami 78-58
After four games filled with offensive struggles and a lack of chemistry on the floor, Florida basketball has found itself rejuvenated amidst the Charleston Classic.
The early-season tournament gave Florida a chance to address their issues after four days off following a loss to UCONN. Since, Florida has dropped 70 points in back-to-back games and put together an all-around dominant performance against the Miami Hurricanes on Friday.
Shooting 53.6% from the floor, and 52.6% from beyond the arc, the Gators' looked like a totally different team offensively than what we've seen at all this season. Big man Kerry Blackshear Jr. recorded his fourth double-double in six games with the Gators on a 20-11-5 line, with guards Scottie Lewis, Ques Glover and Andrew Nembhard, as well as forward Keyontae Johnson, turning in solid performances as well.
Next, Florida will face the winner of UCONN vs. No. 18 Xavier on Sunday at 8:30 P.M. Those teams face off tonight at 9 P.M., which you can watch on ESPNU.
Here are three takeaways from today's contest.
Ques Glover is for real
The 5-11, 176 lb. freshman out of Tennessee has played lights out with the absence of Tre Mann for Florida.
Glover offers a much-needed change of pace when Nembhard is not on the floor, as he is more capable of pushing the ball in transition. His defense is also solid, and he clearly wants to play and gets after it every play.
Although he is undersized, Glover also puts in the effort to get rebounds, which is something you love to see from such a young player. Glover is also a great passer, and he found his bigs underneath multiple times today due to his quick penetration in the paint.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. has to maintain this floor time
Blackshear bounced back after being ejected against St. Joseph's on Thursday, and he was solid in every category today against Miami.
On top of his stat-line, the graduate transfer from Virginia Tech also racked up 35 minutes, which is great to hear considering he has been in foul trouble multiple times in recent games.
Blackshear is the best big in the SEC and he showed that with his versatility today. Not only can he beat you in the paint, but he can make you pay with his shooting. Blackshear went 75% from three against the Hurricanes on four attempts, and 50% as a whole on 12 shots.
Scottie Lewis has unbelievable potential
Lewis has insane bounce and is all over the floor on both sides of the ball.
He loves to get out and run in transition, and he is as athletic as anyone in college basketball. The freshman had 13 points and 8 rebounds, shooting 50% from the field against the Hurricanes. On the defensive side of the ball, Lewis posted three blocks and two steals, and got out in transition to show everyone how he can throw it down.
It hasn't been completely consistent, which makes sense as he is only six games into his college career, but Lewis is living up to his potential early on and it will be fun to watch him develop throughout this season. It’s early, but a first round draft grade is looking like a safe bet.