Telling Stat: Florida made four three-point shots, its lowest single-game total of the season
Lesson Learned: Learn to live without the three
Florida's dependency on the three-point shot is well documented. The Gators take a larger percentage of their total shots from beyond the arc then all but 23 Division I teams. It's a sound strategy both because the three-point shot is so valuable and because Florida makes a sterling 38.4 percent of its attempts.
But what happens when the Gators can't connect from distance?
Florida shot poorly from three in four of its five losses this season (Arizona was the exception), and the Gators have struggled to find a secondary scoring strategy.
Against Tennessee—a team that defends the three-point line well—Florida tried to find offense elsewhere. The Gators attempted a modest (by their standards) 17 three-point shots, but their efficiency suffered. Again, Florida was hurt by its allergy to the free-throw line. The Gators shot only 11 times from the charity stripe and made just six of those attempts.
The bigger question for Florida is not so much how it will handle bad shooting nights. Every team misses from time to time, and how those misses are distributed is more a function of random variation than anything.
But what will Florida do against a teams that scheme to run the Gators off the three-point line? How will they handle opponents who simply refuse to let them shoot? What if a team holds them to 15 or even 10 three-point attempts in a game?
The obvious counter play is to dive inside and either get high-percentage looks or draw fouls. Unfortunately, Florida hasn't done much of the latter so far this year.