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Here’s what Todd Golden said about Vanderbilt win on Saturday

Florida basketball hosted the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday afternoon inside the O’Connell Center and came away victorious against its Southeastern Conference foes, 77-64, to rebound from its loss last Wednesday at the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Gators went wire-to-wire from the opening tipoff to the final buzzer in this one. While the visitors slowed the pace to a crawl in comparison to some of Florida’s high-flying affairs, the Gators’ talent, depth and home crowd were too much to overcome.

Following Florida’s ninth SEC win of the season and 19th overall, head coach Todd Golden spoke to the sports media about his team’s recent triumph.

On Florida's 17 assists

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a little bit of our calling card, especially since we got into conference play, and in non-conference play as well we’ve done a really good job of being effective in assisted baskets.

It’s part of the reason why we’ve been so efficient offensively all year and our ball control is one of our best qualities as a team. Obviously, at the end of each half we were really sloppy against pressure — you know which led to that turnover number up to 12 it’s probably more realistically around seven or eight outside of those moments — so, it gives us something to work on this week an area that we can improve.

I assume when we see Vanderbilt in a couple of weeks they will try to press us again after the way we handled it, we’ll try to prepare and get more ready for that but yeah no our guys are super unselfish. I feel like we’ve got really good synergy out there on the floor and you know it starts with (Zyon Pullin), who generally is pretty good with the ball six to one today: six assists to one turnover.

On Will Richard's game-high 21 points

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one of those things that you’ve got to come to deal with when you are dealing with shooters, because, unlike 2s, your volatility from 3 is more inconsistent and his percentage was a little lower than we know he’s capable of.

I can’t remember where I said to somebody where we could be looking at this next week and he could be up to 40%, these next two games, 5-for-9 is a good start, he’s making me look smart on that but he’s definitely when he bangs shots it definitely opens up a lot of things for us.

He’s gotten a lot better defensively and improved a little bit on the glass so is a really solid, really good player for us and one of the big reasons why we’ve had as much success as we’ve had so far this year.

On Vanderbilt's offense

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

They are very hard to prepare for — they run a lot of good stuff where it’s a lot of misdirection, a lot of pins for shooters or bigs. Things similar to the Georgia game where we try to take advantage of our big lineup and put shooters at the 4 and see if ‘Rese or Tommy and those guys can guard them but I thought we defended really well today.

I thought this was one of our better defensive efforts in a while, we held them to 35% from the field, didn’t shoot well from three, we fouled too much in the second half, sent them to the line 23 times — which was frustrating but in the big picture I thought we gave ourselves a really good chance by the way we locked in.

And against a team like Vandy and the sets they run, it’s more about concepts, understanding what your matchup against certain guys, what you are willing to give up, what you are not, and which guys are no threes allowed guys. I thought the guys were locked into the personnel today.

Whether Micah Handlogten's foul trouble impact results on the board

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

I think so. And, you know, we weren’t good on the defensive glass at Bama either. We were good on the offensive glass there. You know, we weren’t good on the offensive glass today. And it’s just kind of a mentality mindset. You know, I think we let it slip a little bit Wednesday.

It obviously regressed a little bit more today to lose this battle on the glass. So again, always looking for teaching points after victories. And, you know, getting back on the glass is something that we’re going to have to get right before we play Missouri on Wednesday.

On how blocked shots can influence rebounding

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, a little bit, you know, there if you’re fortunate enough to have good shot blockers and they block it out of bounds, that’s going to be a team offensive rebound, right?

You can’t control that. It’s true, but I think we’re still soft anyway or not physical enough on the defensive glass, but you can’t control that or get the ones that go out of bounds. And I’ll probably give Coach Safir and Coach Andrzjek a little leeway because of that, depending on what the film looks like.

On Florida's defensive performance

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Like I said, we were locked in defensively, you know, we did a really good job. Coach Andrzejek had the scout. I thought he did a really good job of keeping it simple for our guys and giving them a great understanding of what was important to take away and what we were okay with living with, and the threes from the fours were something that we were super focused on not giving up.

And, you know, to be honest, like with (Ezra) Manjon and (Tyrin) Lawrence, (Ven-Allen) Lubin, those guys are all really talented playmaker scorers. We wanted to take them away if we could and then limit threes for everybody else.

And I thought we did a pretty good job of that. You know, with the exception of fouling, too much of the second half.

On Zyon Pullin's plus-25 in the +/- despite scoring just two points

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The thing that I said to our staff right after the game, when I was looking at the box score, was I was just happy that we were able to score as much as we did with only getting two from him.

You know, he’s a guy, like to your point, has been over double figures every game and someone that we’ve relied upon to get baskets for us a lot over the season, so for him to only get two and us to still get close to 80, it was really good to see.

But listen, I’m just not sure how many point guards out there in America you’d rather have right now. You know, the way he runs the game, runs the team, controls the game. Just so good with the ball. You know, like when he turns it over, you’re like, “Oh my gosh,” you know what happened on that play you know when normal point guards get two or three in a game and you’re okay with it. Just such a veteran, wise player.

And I want to give credit to one of my great friends, Mike Magpayo. Because he coached him for four years at Riverside. And the transition for ZP has been a lot easier because of that. Mike does a great job preparing these guys and coaching them, and holding them accountable. And, you know, obviously, let us know how great his character was.

And usually, when you go from a low major program to one of the best, if not the best league in America, it’s an adjustment and sometimes it takes a season, and for him, seamlessly after a three-game suspension in Portsmouth has been one of the best players in the country.

So you know, he was prepared very well for this opportunity. And he’s certainly taken advantage of it.

On Florida's ball movement in the first half

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

They’re very aggressive about keeping you on the side of the floor. We call it icing or blacking a coverage and they really try to prevent you from getting middle on your penetration. And so, we had to try and drag that defense and throw it back.

That’s how Tommy got his three in the first half. Or hit the post and play off that. But again, we did a great job of getting on assisted baskets early. I think we had nine assists and one turnover at one point to start the game and just that tone of unselfishness was set and I thought it carried on for the whole game.

On Condon and Haugh stepping up off the bench

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The frontcourt depth is a huge part of our success obviously. And they’re all unique and really talented in their own ways. And obviously what we’ve noticed is whichever room two of those four are out there, we’ve been able to keep a pretty consistent pace and keep the score going the right way.

And obviously, Micah has been huge for us in a lot of games, but it is comforting to have Alex and Tommy able to come off the bench and provide us really, really good minutes. Now obviously I wanna keep Micah get out there longer so we keep those other guys fresher and keep a good rotation going.

But in a game like tonight, we needed Alex to step up and play a lot more minutes. And as he’s done all year, he’s proven capable.

On holding his last two opponents to 15-for-54 from three

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

I think it’s a little bit of luck. I think it’s a little bit of three-point volatility. Obviously, it’s been an emphasis. The Alabama game, we were very thoughtful, especially the first half, about who was getting the 3s up. Not as good in the second half and overtime that way.

And tonight similarly, you know. I thought we did a good job of contesting a lot of threes, but you know sometimes that three-point percentage is going to go up and down and sometimes you can guard the line well and they’re still making tough shots. So, it generally evens out over the course of the year and maybe is evening out our way this week a little bit.

Next up

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Gators remain in the O’Connell Center for their next game against the visiting Missouri Tigers, who come to town on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire