3 takeaways from win over California in Fort Myers

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

On last year’s team, the responsibility to score rested almost entirely on Tre Mann‘s shoulders. The offense ran through him, and if he was cold from the field, the Gators didn’t have many other players who could pick up that slack. That couldn’t be further from the case with this year’s team, whose offense is built almost entirely around ball movement.

That means that a lot of guys are capable of getting in on the action, and that was the case against the Golden Bears. Four Florida players scored in double figures, led by Colin Castleton, who had 16 on 6 of 11 shooting. Tyree Appleby scored 15, with seven of his points coming at the line, while transfers Myreon Jones and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Jones started out hot, hitting two three-pointers in the opening minutes, and his 11 points at the half led the team, but he only took two shots in the entire second half. Fleming, meanwhile, continues improve on the offensive end as he scored in double figures for the second-straight game.

“That’s what Phlan brings every day,” Castleton said of Fleming’s performance. “He’s a confident player and he has a really unique skillset for his position and size. He just knows how to play basketball really well. It was good to see him get going because he had some issues lingering with an injury and a little bit of an issue we had with the flu bug. But, I’m glad to see him get his confidence back.”

Even C.J. Felder, who played a season-high 17 minutes, got in on the action, scoring eight points largely thanks to two makes from downtown. Anthony Duruji, meanwhile, scored seven points.

All in all, it was a very successful offensive night for the Gators, who broke 80 points for the second-straight game. They shot 51.9% from the field, and though the 12-10 turnover-to-assist ratio is certainly something it will need to clean up, this is an offense that will spread you out and find open looks.

“We had pretty good ball movement,” coach Mike White said after the game. “Obviously, it wasn’t perfect and there was a lot of stuff to clean up with setting and using screens, and a couple of decisions here and there that we need to sharpen… Our assists number is not as high as you would like to see it, but to score 80 against a Mark Fox-coached team, you must have done some good things offensively. They’re always so solid and disciplined defensively. We did also get some extra possessions by creating those turnovers.”

If it can shoot a little more consistently, it will be very dangerous come SEC play.

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