Florida needs to shoot the ball better to be successful. That much is clear.
The Gators currently shoot at a 41.8 percent clip and have a 26.9 percent three-point percentage.
Only four teams in the 14-team ACC, arguably the country’s best basketball conference, have shot worse than 47.5 percent from the field. No teams in the ACC have lost a game yet.
UF (1-1) utilized mismatches against Charleston Southern, a contest that looked more like Anakin Skywalker vs. the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. The Gators’ lack of shooting was exposed, and it showed in a 81-60 loss against FSU.
Even coach Mike White acknowledged the team needs to shoot better.
“It starts with me and the staff, just getting these guys going and putting them in a better place,” White said.
He went on to talk about how the intensity level is different in practice than in the game.
Florida draws La Salle (0-2) from the Atlantic-10 Conference. La Salle is no pushover though — it played Temple hard and only lost by a point to Lafayette.
The Explorers are led by guard Pookie Powell, an Orlando native. Powell is averaging 20 points, 2.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds through the first two games of the season.
UF has its own weapons, though.
Although UF relies on its two senior guards - Jalen Hudson and KeVaughn Allen - the team leads a balanced attack and can be led by any player.
After a performance at FSU (0 points on 0-for-4 shooting) that was worse than the freshman experience of taking the Good Life at UF. Allen responded with a 14-point showing on 6-of-11 shooting against Charleston Southern.
Hudson has two double-digit shooting efforts but hasn’t shot very accurately at 29.4 percent.
One player that has stuck out so far is guard Deaundrae Ballard. He is one of only two members on the team that has shot at least 50 percent with a minimum of five attempts (forward Keyontae Johnson being the other at 4-of-8).
Ballard currently sits at 10-for-18 and averages 12.5 points, the most on the team. Florida needs another good game from the Atlanta native to stay afloat offensively.
The Gators get La Salle tonight at 7 p.m. After La Salle, Florida heads down to the Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis, a tournament that features Butler, Virginia, Oklahoma, Stanford, Middle Tennessee State, Wisconsin and Dayton.
Mike White claims his team isn’t complacent heading into the game.
“Definitely not looking past them.”
Follow Chris O'Brien on Twitter @THEChrisOB or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior guard KeVaughn Allen went 6-of-11 from the field for 14 points on Friday against Charleston Southern. He went 0-for-4 in the season-opener against FSU.