Three things to remember for Florida basketball as t……..

Florida Basketball: Three keys to the game for Gators against Baylor

Florida basketball has a golden opportunity tonight to stake its claim on the national stage as the Gators will take on the 13th-ranked Baylor Bears in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Vegas expects a close game, with the Bears only favored by 3.5 points. Here are three pathways for the Gators to win.

Florida Basketball Keys To The Game

Just Keep Swimming

Florida has had one of the better offenses in the nation this season. Florida has topped 86 points in four of their five games, and the Gators are averaging 1.14 points per possession, the 28th-best rate in the country.

They must maintain that clip tonight because Baylor’s offense isn’t one to let up. With 1.19 points per possession and 89.6 points per game, Baylor is 10th in offensive efficiency and 11th in points per game, led by Ja’Kobe Walter, who averages 19.2 points per game.

Charity Stripe

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One glaring weakness for Florida basketball this season has been at the free throw line. Making just 62.1% of their free throws, the Gators are 327th in the country.

Baylor also has a history of sending teams to the line. Only 177th in the country, the Bears foul on 24.8% of the possessions of their opponents.

It might be as easy as making shots when no one is in the way to cover the 3.5 point spread that Vegas is projecting.

Protect The Rock

It was a bit of a topsy-turvy how Florida pulled away in the second half against Pitt on Wednesday. Typically, the Gators have relied on offensive rebounds and second-chance points while struggling to protect the basketball.

Yet the Gators scored 10 points off turnovers in the second half while surrendering none.

The Gators are still 338th in the country, surrendering a steal on 12.9% of their offensive possessions. Baylor, meanwhile, is 60th in the category, only coughing up a steal on 7.1% of their possessions.

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