Ole Miss couldn't avoid costly turnovers in a disappointing road loss to the Florida on Tuesday. The Gators capitalized on 21 turnovers to produce 18 points in a 70-63 win over the Rebels. The loss drops Ole Miss to 0-2 in conference play and 9-5 overall.
Sebastian Saiz did what he does best—snatch down a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds—while Deandre Burnett led the Rebels in scoring with 18. Ole Miss out-rebounded the Gators, 34-28, and out-shot them from the field, 51.1 percent to 41.7 percent, but the turnovers allowed Florida to take 13 more shots.
Here's an in-depth look at what the Cup saw out of Tuesday's loss:
1. Kentucky and Florida are just better right now.
UK and UF are undoubtedly the toughest conference teams the Rebels will face this season, so starting conference play with them was a tough draw. The Kentucky loss was lopsided and not very hopeful for a game in Oxford. Tuesday, regardless of final score, showed the Gators are a better team than the Rebels right now. They're deeper and were aggressive on the perimeter, able to stifle Ole Miss' long range game (26.3 percent from three).
But this doesn't mean the sky is falling... yet. Four of the five losses Ole Miss has compiled have been to top 50 KenPom teams. The Rebels have to use the losses as motivation to turn things around, beginning with a road trip to Auburn on Saturday.
2. Turnovers not just a delicious pastry.
There's just not many teams you're going to beat when you have this poor ball security. The Rebels are averaging over 15 turnovers per game, which is worst in the SEC. You know, the SEC, the premier basketball conference in the country... WHICH leads to...
3. The Rebels need a point guard.
Cullen Neal and Deandre Burnett are both averaging about three turnovers a game, but they’re also averaging two and three turnovers per game, respectively. Something has got to give, because those two aren’t getting it done at PG. They can score, they are talented, but the Rebels need a more sure-handed ball handler who can effectively break the press. On several occasions Tuesday night, Florida applied presses that caused forwards Marcanvis Hymon and Justas Furmanavicius to bring the ball up the court. Other coaches will see that on film, and it's going to become a problem in games where it shouldn't if a solution isn’t found soon. Maybe it's time to let Breein Tyree handle the ball more and groom him for next season.