Florida basketball had a very strong season opener last night when they hosted Loyola Maryland, winning the game by a score of 93-73.
The Gators started the game off on a 16-0 run and quickly made it known that they weren’t going to let the Greyhounds hang around and make it a game.
Todd Golden’s team looked solid in game one of his second year and has a lot to build off of heading into their matchup with Virginia on Friday.
Florida basketball: Some good, some bad
Most of the things we took away from this game were great, so let’s start with that.
Riley Kugel put up 23 points and has six steals, looking to be an even better player than we saw at the end of last season.
Three other Gators were also in double figures, Micah Handlogten (16), Tyrese Samuel (15), and Alex Condon (13).
As a team, the Gators shot 58.1% from the field and 37.5% from the three-point line, which was a major weakness on last year’s team.
The Gators outrebounded the Greyhounds 43-30 and won the turnover battle 15-11.
Walter Clayton Jr. showed that he’s more than capable of running the offense, dishing out five assists, scoring nine points, and cleaning up on the glass with eight rebounds.
The one issue that the Gators had last night was at the free-throw line.
As a team they were 50% from the charity stripe, making 15 of their 30 attempts. A 50% free throw rate, to put it delicately, is not good at all.
Better competition is going to make the Gators pay for that type of inefficiency at the line, and they’ll face some of that on Friday when they play Virginia.
Hopefully, those woes are just a game one fluke, and something that they’ll be able to fix in practice this week.
Aside from their issues at the line, the Gators looked really strong in their opener, and have a lot to build off of as the season continues.