Florida coach Billy Donovan insists offense isn’t a problem for his team, but its numbers from the perimeter aren’t pretty in the last two games.
His 17th-ranked Gators look to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they meet Washington on Tuesday in a consolation game in the CBE Classic.
Florida (3-1) turned in another poor effort from beyond the arc in an 89-83 loss to Syracuse in Monday’s semifinals. The Gators made 7-of-23 3-pointers (30.4 percent) after missing 15 of 16 attempts in last Thursday’s 64-50 win over Southern Utah.
Through four games, Florida is shooting 32.2 percent on 3-pointers after shooting over 36 percent in 2007-08.
“We’ve been a team that even last year that when we’re shooting the ball well, we’re a really good team,” Donovan said. “And tonight, I don’t think it was a problem with the offense - we scored 83 points and we shot 30 percent from the 3-point line. It’s giving up the 89 points.”
The Gators had a season-high 12 steals after managing only 18 in their first three games, but they allowed Syracuse to shoot 51.7 percent.
Donovan also didn’t blame the soft schedule that included home games against Toledo, Bradley and Southern Utah.
“We scored 64 points against Southern Utah, but we held them to 50,” Donovan said. “I know Southern Utah talent level isn’t at where Syracuse is, but I think when you start to start playing the type of teams like Syracuse, it’s very difficult to expect to try to win giving up 89 points.”
Alex Tyus finished with a career-best 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting and Nick Calathes had 19 points for Florida, which was outrebounded 40-34. Freshman Erving Walker continues to struggle to find his stroke, although he had a season-high 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
It was a difficult night for Dan Werner, who averaged 15.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting in the Gators’ first three games. Werner fouled out in 22 minutes with eight points Monday.
Florida will now try to find a way to contend on the boards against Washington’s Jon Brockman. The 6-foot-7 Brockman is averaging 13.0 rebounds after pulling down 18 boards on Monday.
Brockman, though, was 2-of-9 from the floor for a season-low seven points in the 73-54 loss to No. 22 Kansas in Washington’s semifinal. The Huskies (2-2) shot 29.2 percent - just the third time over the last seven seasons they have failed to reach 30 percent.
“We couldn’t get anything going,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “They played good defense against us. We knew going into the game they were holding teams to below 30 percent. I see why now.”
Isaiah Thomas led all starters for the Huskies with 17 points. The freshman guard has 36 in his first two games, after scoring a total of 18 in his first two college outings.
This is the third meeting between these teams - they split the first two in 1965.