Three Takeaways From Florida's 76-62 Loss to Butler
Florida's offensive woes struck again, this time on the road against the No. 24 Butler Bulldogs. Behind the efforts of playmakers Kamar Baldwin and Aaron Thompson, who combined for 28 points and 13 assists, the Bulldogs defeated the Gators on their home court with ease, by a score of 76-62.
The Gators have yet to find consistent rhythm within their offense, which has led to their fall from grace and a disappointing 6-3 start to a season that they entered as the No. 6 squad in the nation.
Here are three observations from today's loss.
Andrew Nembhard played excellent close-out defense. Kamar Baldwin just executed better.
The senior guard for Butler rose over Nembhard, hitting the elbow jumper as the shot clock expired to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 17—the largest deficit for Florida at the time.
Coach Mike White responded the same way that every Gators fan watching Florida play Saturday afternoon did: He threw his hands over his head and watched. The Gators would chip away at that 17-point lead but never brought it within nine, resulting in the loss.
Live and die by the 3
It’s well known that Mike White centers his offense around three-point shooting. The problem for Florida is this year’s team hasn’t proven they can shoot it from beyond the arc at a high, consistent level.
Florida shot just 23% from three in the loss to Butler, with more than half of the team’s total field goal attempts taken from beyond the three-point line. You can’t expect to win games shooting that poorly from anywhere on the floor.
In Florida’s losses to Florida State and UConn, the Gators failed to shoot more than 30% from three on more than twenty attempts. It’s a common theme among this Florida offense. The lack of identity, paired with poor shooting from almost the entire team is a recipe for disaster.
You either live by the three or die by it, and the Gators are most certainly dying.
Stop the #FireMikeWhite Hive
Yes, Florida’s struggled this season and a lot of that can be put on White. But in no way should he be fired, at least this early.
The season is still young and the team has a lot of room to grow. Those calling for his head because he can’t beat two ranked opponents on the road with a group of seven underclassmen is laughable.
From a viewer standpoint, the team offense is out of sorts because of the lack of identity. There is no one player fans can count on to consistently score and it’s telling. However, there’s been more missed, open shots rather than bad, contested takes, which at least shows Florida is getting good looks.
Florida just can’t convert. Once the Gators begin converting those looks, they’ll win more games. And if they can’t, then the conversation regarding White's job status can develop further. These next few weeks will be very important for White and his staff, with games against Providence and Utah State to prove to his fan base that he’s in control of this team.