Three Takeaways From Florida's 68-51 loss to Ole Miss
It's a roll that Florida just could not afford to roll.
That is point guard Andrew Nembhard's ankle. The sophomore had to leave Florida's game against Ole Miss on Saturday and never returned. And it is not like the Gators were playing well anyway.
The Gators (14-9) ended up dropping their rematch against Ole Miss (12-11) by a score of 68-51, after soundly beating the Rebels last month in Gainesville. This is a really bad loss, in a season full of really bad losses. Following a 22-point comeback win over Georgia, UF once again found themselves on the wrong end of a game against a bad SEC team.
Here are three things we learned about the Gators in this loss.
If Nembhard's injury is significant, Florida is done
Surface level, this may sound harsh. It may sound dramatic to say that the Gators cannot make any sort of deep run in the tournament without Nembhard, but it really is not that crazy of a thought. Why?
Florida was probably not going to make any sort of run with Nembhard. He makes the entire offense go, leading the Gators in assists and usually being the one to grease the wheels when the offense stagnates. Without that? Florida has no chance.
Nembhard suffered what looked like a brutal ankle injury in the first half against Ole Miss. Though he returned in the second half, his situation is obviously going to be one to monitor going forward.
Coach Mike White has not shown during his tenure in Gainesville any sort of ability to draw things up creatively enough to get a bad offense moving. Nembhard, and sometimes Keyontae Johnson, are the only hopes to ever make the Gators an explosive enough team to win big games in March.
Florida needs more out of Scottie Lewis offensively
When I look back at the box score, see that Lewis had seven points, and am pleasantly surprised, that is a problem.
Seven points is a stronger outing for him offensively when you compare it to most of this season. And for White's most prized recruit in this class, that is a major issue. Yes, he is currently good enough on defense to be in the NBA. But that does not change the fact that he usually isn't good enough offensively to score in double digits.
That just can't be the case for a guy that explosive. He has the bounce to force his way to the rim and earn buckets over people when he really wants to. He needs to be more aggressive and White needs to allow him to be. Otherwise, the Gators will probably get bounced early again in March this year.
The Gators must shoot better
This seems obvious and almost stupid to say. But far too often UF seems to have plastic wrap on the rim. The Gators shot 33 percent against Ole Miss. That is simply not good enough, ever. Even against bad teams in the SEC, that will not win games and that certainly will not win games in March.
UF is a few more losses like this from calling 2019-2020 a season and not making the NCAA tournament. It could become one of the most disappointing years, if not the most, in program history.