The Florida women’s basketball team is off to its worst start in program history, losing all six games so far. Here are three things to look out for as the Gators try to get their season on track, starting on Sunday when they take on Texas Tech:
Will the threes fall?
Coach Cam Newbauer has made no secret of his affinity for the three-ball since taking the job at Florida before the start of last season.
In two of its last three games, Florida attempted over 30 three-pointers and is averaging over 27 attempts per game this season.
The problem for Newbauer is his team made under 30 percent of them. Opponents have made 39 percent on just over 20 attempts per game. Those two stats will have to change for the Gators if they want to pick up some momentum.
Will anybody besides Nakkasoglu and Washington step up?
Redshirt senior guard Funda Nakkasoglu has been the story of the season for Florida.
She leads the SEC in points per game with 20 and is fresh off a 23-point performance against Northeastern. She is the first Gator in 16 years to score 20 or more points in five of the team’s first six games.
Fellow guard Delicia Washington hasn’t been too far behind. She's fifth in the conference with 17.7 points per game.
It has been an offensive black hole outside of those two players. Florida’s next leading scorers, guard Kiara Smith and forward Zada Williams, average just 7.7 points per game.
That gap is clearly too large, and the Gators will need to get more production out of the rest of their lineup if they wish to compete once SEC play begins.
Can the team put four strong quarters together?
Florida led after the first quarter in four of its opening six games.
It has had second half leads in four of them as well. Outside of the loss at Indiana, the Gators have been in most of the games they’ve played. A big factor in their winless record has been a failure to play a solid 40 minutes and an inability to close out games.
Florida blew an 11-point lead with three minutes left against Northwestern. It was outscored 19-8 to end the game after trailing by just two points in the fourth quarter against Northeastern.
This is a team that needs to string together four solid quarters to compete with programs that have superior talent.
Follow Sam Campisano @samcampisano and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gators have led after the first quarter in four of their first six games of the season.