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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
<p>Billy Donovan looks down the court during Florida's 57-56 win against Arkansas on Saturday in the O'Connell Center.</p>

Billy Donovan looks down the court during Florida's 57-56 win against Arkansas on Saturday in the O'Connell Center.

Luck is seen by some as a cop-out.

But for the confounding 2015 Florida Gators basketball team, luck does help to explain how this season has gone so far south.

Florida has had its last seven games decided by a total of 19 points and are 4-7 in games this season decided by five points or less. To his credit, coach Billy Donovan isn’t just blaming lady luck.

"You can sit there and say bad luck, snake-bitten, all those kinds of things. I’ve never, ever believed that," Donovan said. "I believe that you put yourself in position – maybe if you want to use the word lucky – to be lucky. And I think if you go back, and certainly I’ve analyzed all those games ... it’s always been somebody from the other team that’s made a shot against us."

Sometimes guys make shots.

That’s what Miami’s Angel Rodriguez did, and it’s what Georgetown’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera did.

It’s what Ole Miss’s Stefan Moody did and it’s what Jacob Kurtz unfortunately did against Florida State.

Sometimes guys don’t make shots.

It’s what Kasey Hill didn’t do against Ole Miss in January. It’s what Eli Carter didn’t do against Georgetown, It’s what Alex Murphy didn’t do Saturday evening against Texas A&M.

With data collected from all the college basketball games played through Sunday, the Gators are dead-last, No. 351 in the country in KenPom.com’s luck rating.

The metric’s definition is "A measure of the deviation between a team’s actual winning percentage and what one would expect from its game-by-game efficiencies. ... Essentially, a team involved in a lot of close games should not win (or lose) all of them. Those that do will be viewed as lucky (or unlucky)."

Florida hasn’t lost all of them, but they do seem to be snake-bitten more than most and Carter and co. are trying their best not to get too down.

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"Well coach is not going to let us do that," Carter said.

"Like I said we just have to continue to trust in each other, believe in each other and trust what coach is telling us."

It is not totally unluckiness that has doomed Florida.

The Gators don’t have a dominant post presence, they could use another consistent scorer and a few more made free throws wouldn’t hurt.

It’s only human nature to question what would happen if the balls bounced a different way a handful of times, and that may not completely hit close to home until selection Sunday.

If Florida’s on the outside looking in, a few missed miracle baskets from opponents could be the margin between the NIT and the big dance.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Florida would probably take a little bit more of either one right now.

 Follow Richard Johnson on Twitter @RagjUF

Billy Donovan looks down the court during Florida's 57-56 win against Arkansas on Saturday in the O'Connell Center.

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