Florida basketball: White may be patient with Gators, but should we?

It’s been billed as epic or astounding for Florida basketball. But, the double-overtime win over Alabama shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

A lot has been made over Saturday’s win for Florida basketball over Alabama.

But, the fact of the matter is the double-overtime thriller should have never happened in the first place.

The Gators (9-4, 1-0 SEC) played perhaps its worst half of the season in the first against the Crimson Tide — shooting a putrid 16.7% from 3-point range and just 36% from the field overall.

Additionally, Florida basketball was outrebounded by Alabama, 22-18 and the Gators coughed the ball up nine times en route to spotting the Crimson Tide a 14-point halftime lead.

That’s not even the worst of it. Florida was down as much as 21 in the first half.

To put it in perspective, Alex Reese, a bench player for Alabama (7-6, 0-1 SEC) led all scorers with 10 points in the first half. The Crimson Tide shot 50% from beyond the arc and 48% from the field in the first half.

Even graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. seemed out of it in the first half, shooting just 2-for-7 from the field. The bright spot is he has 10 of Florida’s 18 rebounds in the half.

Alabama Crimson Tide
Florida Gators

And, while Florida basketball was 16% from 3-point range, they did try just six 3-pointers in the half.

The fact that Alabama went on a 14-0 run in the first half, led by as many as 21 points and held a 14-point halftime lead should be telling enough.

This is the same Alabama team that got smoked at Rhode Island, only beat Furman by eight and got drilled by Iowa State at home. They have no quality wins — unless you count beating Belmont by 20 a quality win.

Let’s face it, outside of Kentucky and Auburn, the Southeastern Conference is just not very good. This is the time for Florida basketball to build up wins and confidence heading into the conference tournament and the NCAA tourney — it’s certainly not letting a team like Alabama lead by 21.

Yes, Andrew Nembhard had a career night with 25 points, but when you play two overtimes, your top players should score that much.

The same goes for Blackshear and his 24 points, Noah Locke’s 18 and Scottie Lewis’ 15 points.

Florida basketball has played 13 games so far this season, and they don’t seem to have come together as much as head coach Mike White thinks they have.

It’s easy to talk about just how great the comeback was for Florida basketball, but we can’t overlook the fact that the Gators should never have been in that position from the start against Alabama.

More outings like this and it is going to be harder for us to have patience with this Gator basketball team that was supposed to be lights-out from the start.

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Florida basketball will be in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7 at South Carolina.