Skip to content

Mental miscues, questionable coaching decisions doom Florida

Mar 31, 2013, 5:07 PM EDT

Michigan v Florida Getty Images

In the end, Florida simply dug themselves too big of a hole.

Thanks to some defensive miscues and a poor shooting start, Florida found themselves down 13-0, 20-4 and 41-17 before they woke up. By the time they did, the Gators simply couldn’t get out of their own way, as a series of mental mistakes and curious coaching decisions stunted any comeback attempt.

Florida’s season came to a close when the final horn sounded on Michigan’s 79-59 win.

It was a disappointing finish to a season that had been so promising. Florida was No. 1 in the Kenpom rankings for the majority of the season. They were the only team to rank in the top five of both offensive and defensive efficiency. They won the SEC regular season title, but a season of dominance over mediocre competition was marred by their struggles in close games.

In other words, this Florida team wasn’t one that you wanted to trust in a pressure situation. Playing a former No. 1 ranked team for the right to go to the Final Four in the Jerry Dome on national TV isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

MORE: Photos from the Elite Eight

Florida allowed the Wolverines to make a run early in the game, but that’s not really all that much of a concern. That happens. What was more concerning was the fact that, while watching Michigan pull away, Florida insisted on pounding the ball into their big men. Patric Young was being outplayed by Mitch McGary, while Erik Murphy was being out played by everyone; he finished 0-9 from the floor.

Florida also was apparently incapable of locating Nik Stauskas, who led the way with 22 points for Michigan and whose hot hand midway through the first half blew the game open. Look at his shot chart, via ESPN Stats & Info:

source:

Stauskas loves that corner. I can guarantee that it was in Florida’s scouting report, but if Luke Winn can figure it out, Florida’s coaching staff should. Eventually, even if that was missed, you would think that someone would realize that getting a hand up on Stauskas, after he’s hit three or four in a row from the same corner, would be a smart move.

(Here’s the funny thing: you can’t even credit Michael Frazier for trying to contest a Stauskas three when he committed a foul at the buzzer. He didn’t. He just ran into Stauskas.)

Perhaps the most head-scratching move came early in the second half. Florida had started out on an 8-3 run when Billy Donovan called a timeout immediately after a bucket. The Gators had cut the lead to just 12 points with 15:48 left, but per NCAA tournament rules, Donovan’s timeout would have to be a full-length media timeout: 3:30. When play resumed, McGary scored, Florida threw away the inbounds and Spike Albrecht scored, and then there was a whistle at the other end. Another media timeout, and this time Michigan was down 16 points. The Wolverines scored first out of that break, and that was pretty much it.

Florida’s got a promising future, however.

MORE: Michigan blows out Florida for first Final Four trip since 1993

They may end up losing their top four scorers — three graduate, Young may go pro — but with a solid core of youngsters in their back court, who will be joined by stud freshman Kasey Hill, and some grinders up front (Will Yegeute and Casey Prather) to play alongside five-star recruit Chris Walker, the Gators will have plenty of talent on their roster.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Latest Posts
  1. Former Oklahoma State guard suing university, head coach Travis Ford

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:24 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Stevie Clark, a four-star recruit, played only 16 games for the Cowboys.

  2. Ex-Syracuse signee Moustapha Diagne awaiting a student visa in Senegal

    Sep 4, 2015, 8:19 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline Kelly Kline

    Moustapha Diagne decided he would attend junior college back in August.

  3. Seventh Woods down to three schools, sets official visits

    Sep 4, 2015, 6:39 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline Kelly Kline

    Seventh Woods removed one more team from consideration.

  4. Wyoming guard Trey Washington III ‘day-to-day’ with knee injury

    Sep 4, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT

    Wyoming v UNLV Getty Images

    Washington sat out all of last season due to a lingering foot injury.

  5. Reigning national champions to visit White House Tuesday

    Sep 4, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

    Mike Krzyzewski AP

    Mike Krzyzewski will be taking a national title team to the Oval Office for the fifth time in his career.

  6. Former Indiana forward’s marijuana possession citation dropped

    Sep 4, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

    Landon Atterberry Devin Davis AP

    Devin Davis has since enrolled at Odessa JC in Texas.

  7. Former New Mexico guard signs with Australian Football League franchise

    Sep 4, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

    Hugh Greenwood AP

    Greenwood is the second former college basketball player to sign with an AFL franchise in the last week.

  8. Gonzaga once again puts together a formidable non-conference schedule

    Sep 3, 2015, 9:05 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The Bulldogs are guaranteed games against five NCAA tournament teams and could play more based upon what happens in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

  9. Virginia announces addition of four-star forward, will redshirt

    Sep 3, 2015, 7:56 PM EDT

    mamadi diakite

    Virginia is trying to figure out the academic situation of Mamadi Diakite, who might enroll in 2015.

  10. Ongoing investigation results in Minnesota athletics administrator taking leave of absence

    Sep 3, 2015, 6:51 PM EDT

    University of Minnesota University of Minnesota

    This comes less than a month after AD Norwood Teague stepped down for his own alleged sexual misconduct.

  11. Shin issue to sideline Mississippi State freshman forward two months

    Sep 3, 2015, 5:22 PM EDT

    Ben Howland AP

    Joe Struggs, who didn’t enroll until last month, has been dealing with issues with both of his shins.

  12. Throwback Thursday: Juan Dixon and company win Maryland’s lone national title

    Sep 3, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    Juan Dixon #3 of the University of Maryland holds the ball Getty Images

    This year’s Terrapins will look to match what Dixon, Steve Blake and company accomplished just over 13 years ago.

  13. Mixtape of Rivals150 Class of 2016 guard Jalen Johnson (VIDEO)

    Sep 3, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    jalen johnson

    Jalen Johnson is one of the best in-game dunkers in the Class of 2016.

  14. Atlantic 10 releases full conference schedule

    Sep 3, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    Bob McKillop AP

    The Atlantic 10 released its full conference schedule. The league has 33 games on NBCSN this season.

  15. Michigan State sees remodeled practice facility after returning from Italy (VIDEO)

    Sep 3, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Tom Izzo, Alvin Ellis III AP

    Michigan State saw the newly-renovated practice facility when they arrived back from a trip to Italy.

  16. Four-star power forward/center verbally commits to North Carolina

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Roy Williams AP

    With two seniors in their current front court, adding a big man helps North Carolina moving forward.

  17. St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin throws out first pitch at Mets game (VIDEO)

    Sep 2, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Mullin threw out the first pitch at a Yankees game back in late-May.