During the Battle 4 Atlantis last week, the Florida Gators had a very difficult time shooting the basketball. They scored 60 or less points in two of their three games and left the Bahamas with a 1-2 record. Coming back to Gainesville is exactly what they needed as they defeated the North Florida Ospreys 98-66.
Everybody Has The Hot Hand
Nobody was afraid to shoot the ball for Florida on Tuesday night. They actually tied the NCAA record for the most players to make a three-pointer in a game with nine.
Victory Royale full of dunks, dimes & a tied NCAA record with 9 different players making a 3-point FG. pic.twitter.com/BCvQhcYkdg
— Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) November 28, 2018
As a team, the Gators shot 16-28 (57.1%) from beyond the arc. Head coach Mike White called the game the best offensive performance from the team all season.
The leader of the pack was freshman Noah Locke, who was locked in from long range. He made four of the six attempts he took from beyond the arc to score a team high 18 points. Locke credited his level of energy and intensity to his big night.
“I felt great, that’s my game, I like to play with a lot of energy,” Locke said. “I’m just out there playing hard, that’s just what I do.”
Even though Locke is known for his sharpshooting, White says his biggest jump has come defensively.
“Noah Locke has made a big jump in the last month defensive execution and accountability,” White said. “Nobody on our team plays any harder than Noah.”
It is not often that you see a stat line of three points, 11 assists and zero turnovers. It is even more rare to see that stat line come from a freshman. In only his 6th collegiate game, Andrew Nembhard has showed why he is leading the team in minutes.
— Denver Parler (@denverparler) November 28, 2018
Mike White continues to rave about his overall impact on and off the court.
“He’s really good, he was as good defensively as he was offensively,” White said. “He’s starting to lead a little bit, he’s a terrific communicator. He’s unselfish, he could have gotten ten shots up tonight if he wanted to.”
More Work to Be Done
White said postgame that he does not expect to shoot 57% from beyond the arc in their next game against West Virginia. The Mountaineers are an elite defensive team and deploy a full-court press for a majority of the game. White did mention that his team’s performance on Tuesday night was one that could give the team confidence moving forward.