Five takeaways from Florida’s double-digit loss at Tennessee on Tuesday

Remember back in football season when Gator fans were complaining about Billy Napier’s road record?

Well, that vitriol has shifted because Florida’s basketball team is now the team that can’t win away from home.

Todd Golden’s Gators dropped an 85-66 game at No. 6 Tennessee in a game that was moved up because of weather. No shame there.

OK, maybe some shame.

Florida is now 3-9 in SEC road games under Golden and have lost two SEC road games this season by a combined 37 points.

Dalton Knecht continued his hot run for Tennessee scoring 39 points with very little resistance.

Here are the five takeaways from Florida dropping to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.

How did Knecht get there?

Eakin Howard/Getty Images
Eakin Howard/Getty Images

I’ve been watching this guy all season and he lets the game come to him for a while and then just takes over. Against Florida, he was especially efficient but that’s three straight 30-plus point games. How did he go from Northern Colorado to maybe being the SEC Player of the Year as a senior at Tennessee?

Well, Florida certainly helped him out.

We knew Florida struggles with big guards

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

And Knecht is a 6-foot-6-inch transfer who started the game slowly and then went off on the Gators. Florida’s guards are talented but don’t defend very well. But the first half was ridiculous. Knecht scored 22 points in the half, making 9 of 10 shots from the field.

He was 3-for-3 from three and the shots were not contested. He started slowly again in the second half, then went off again.

It felt over at the half

Eakin Howard/Getty Images
Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Tennessee was playing typical regular-season-Rick Barnes defense and led by as many as 17 in the first half. I know it was a unique situation. With snow on the ground and a start two hours early. But that’s no excuse for not showing up early and giving up 60 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.

The Vols led 44-32 thanks to a couple of late buckets by the Gators.

And then it got worse… better... then worse

Eakin Howard/Getty Images
Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Five minutes into the second half, Florida trailed by 20. Then, the Gators got the running game going and cut the lead to 10. And then it got ugly. Florida took a ton of awful shots and got stuck in panic mode on offense and it seemed to affect the defensive effort, not that Florida has been a good defensive team all season.

Tennessee is pretty good

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Florida, on the other hand, is very streaky. And when you don’t defend you can get into some big holes. The Vols lean on Knecht, but Jonas Aidoo killed the Gators early. Tennessee always struggles in the postseason, but perhaps, oh, what are we talking about?

Florida had a chance to get a big NET ranking win. Instead, the Gators got manhandled.

Next up

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Florida remains on the road for its next matchup, traveling to Columbia, Missouri, to take on the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, Jan. 20. Tipoff is slated for a late 8 p.m. ET start and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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PHOTOS: Highlights from Florida basketball’s loss at Tennessee


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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire