It’s the first and last thing Florida men’s basketball coach Mike White touched on during Saturday’s postgame press conference following a 71-68 road loss to Vanderbilt.
Down 71-68 with 8.9 seconds left, the Gators had a chance to tie the score.
“This team has struggled all year to put 40 (minutes) together,” White said.
After inconsistent play has proved to be UF’s undoing in four of its last six SEC games, White is looking for answers with just four regular season games remaining. Graduate guard Egor Koulechov, who is second on the team in scoring (14.2 points per game) and leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game, is one of the more consistent players on the Gators roster. Koulechov finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds in Saturday’s loss to Commodores and has scored 11 points or more in 14 of his last 16 games.
The Gators three other guards who see heavy minutes — Chris Chiozza, Jalen Hudson and KeVaughn Allen — have all struggled uncharacteristically in recent games, so here is a closer look at where Chiozza, Hudson and Allen stand as the regular season nears its end.
Chiozza, the longest tenured Gator alongside injured center John Egbunu, has struggled as of late. The senior guard has failed to crack double digits in the scoring column in four of the last five games. Through no coincidence, the Gators have lost three of those four.
In fact, out of Florida’s 10 losses this season, seven featured a Chiozza stat line of 10 points or fewer — including a six-point outing against the Commodores on Saturday.
The Gators seem to follow Chiozza’s lead more than anyone else, so it shouldn’t be surprising that his recent struggles — including going 1-for-11 from beyond the arc the previous five games combined — coincide with the team’s recent failures.
Since the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 27, Florida has a 2-4 record. What else has happened in those six games? Hudson, the team’s leading scorer and one of its more consistent performers on the year, hasn’t been able to buy a basket.
Hudson hasn’t cracked double figure points in half of those games and was held scoreless for the first time this season in Wednesday’s overtime loss to Georgia.
Hudson has led the team in single-game scoring 11 times this season — more than any other Gator — and remains a threat to do so on a nightly basis, despite his recent drop in productivity.
Allen, much like Hudson, is capable of putting up a big scoring night without warning. Unfortunately for the Gators, the junior has struggled to score consistently all year, averaging a career-low 11.1 points per game and 36.4 field-goal percentage. White credits much of the drop off for the team’s top scorer a year ago to the arrival and impact of Hudson and Koulechov, saying that Allen is an unselfish scorer who would rather defer to his capable teammates when his own shot doesn’t fall.
Similar to Hudson’s scoring difficulties in the past six games, Allen has scored fewer than 10 points four times during that stretch. Allen’s struggles continued against Vanderbilt, which held the junior to seven points.
A video from FloridaGators.com contributed to this report.