Gators hope to bounce back against Vanderbilt
The Gators went 0-for-17 from beyond the arc in their loss to South Carolina. It's the first time since 1992 Florida has failed to make a 3-point shot during a game. After a historically bad shooting display, head coach Mike White said the Gators spent extra time in the gym practicing 3-pointers and free throws.
"My goodness, we couldn't buy a basket," White said. "I don't want to take anything away from South Carolina because they had a lot to do with that. I think we're a pretty good shooting team, and I didn't anticipate that happening. I certainly don't anticipate that happening again."
If there's a positive to be taken from the loss, it's that Florida held the Gamecocks to a 29.6 shooting percentage from the field. That defense will be tested Saturday against Vanderbilt, a team that leads the SECin three-point shooting.
The Commodores make an average of 9.8 buckets from behind the arc per game. The key is shutting down juniors Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis. LaChance shoots 55.8 percent from downtown, and Fisher-Davis has a team-high 50 made 3s.
"I anticipate Vanderbilt being in an offensive flow," White said. "They are every game. They give you a different look than anyone else in our league in that they have five guys that can all pop behind the arc and shoot the three."
"We know that if we take away the three that it's gonna be hard for them to score," forward Devin Robinson said. "So that's what we're trying to hang our hats on in practice - working on closing down the 3-point line, making the right rotations and switching."
One player to continue to watch is John Egbunu. White said Egbunu looks good on the boards and is looking more and more like himself since recovering from that hamstring injury. The 6-foot-11 center totaled 11 rebounds against Georgia, but in his return to the starting lineup against South Carolina, he totaled just four rebounds.