GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After watching Florida put on a 3-point exhibition, West Virginia’s Bob Huggins said he was stunned Gators coach Mike White didn’t make one.
“And I was hoping Darris (Nichols) would shoot one,” Huggins said. “I knew that wouldn’t have gone in.”
That jab at his former point guard/graduate assistant delivered the only laugh on an otherwise humorless afternoon for the No. 9-ranked Mountaineers, who never encroached closer than 14 points in the second half of an 88-71 loss.
As Florida’s perimeter shooters kept stepping into open looks—some created by dribble penetration, others off the pick-and-pop, and some generated by big men passing out of double-teams—they finished 12-of-20 on 3-point attempts.
“The biggest thing is they shoot 60 percent from 3, which they haven’t done and we haven’t given up,” Huggins said.
Why so many gaps?
Players felt defensive rotations were tardy and Huggins agreed his guys weren’t operating at peak energy—at least not enough to compete against a hungry NCAA bubble team inside the nearly-packed O’Connell Center.
“We have to play like our hair is on fire,” he said. “We played hard (enough) for most people, but we didn’t play hard the way we have to play to be successful. Our effort was OK, but we weren’t as coachable as we normally are.”
Hear Huggins postgame interview above.