Film Room: What went wrong on Auburn's last-second plays at Florida
The Tigers weren't able to get a shot off to end either half against the Gators in a close loss. Here's a closer look at the tough sets.
To fully understand what went down on the last possession of Auburn’s 63-62 loss at Florida, it’s important to know that the play Bruce Pearl called didn’t happen.
Auburn had the ball, down by one point, on a side out with 7.5 seconds left on the clock. In the huddle, Pearl called for the ball to go to Walker Kessler near center court. Kessler would then run a handoff to point guard Wendell Green Jr., which would give him plenty of space to race up the floor.
But that play call was built to attack Florida’s defense if it denied Green the ball in the backcourt. Pearl expected the Gators to stick to Green tightly off the ball, which would make Auburn pass the ball to someone other than the floor general.
Getting the ball to Kessler, followed by a handoff, would work as well as a mid-court pick — Green’s aggressive defender wouldn’t be able to stop that exchange, and Green would be able to attack whatever defense was behind Kessler at full speed.
But Florida backed off. The initial call wasn’t going to work the same way.
“I probably should have called timeout once I saw Florida back off,” Pearl said after the game. “I was thinking they were going to overplay. If they overplayed Wendell, we were going to throw the ball to Walker, hand it off to Wendell and let him get downhill. But they kept everything in front.”