1/3: Donovan’s post-game notes and quotes

By Adam Silverstein
January 4, 2011

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan likes to talk – and we like to listen – which is why we have compiled some of the most important news, notes and quotes following UF’s back-to-back wins – 71-67 at the Xavier Musketeers and 84-59 over the Rhode Island Rams in the following post.

LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

Just last week Donovan pointed to Florida’s penchant for turnovers and poor free throw shooting as two of the reasons they unraveled against Jacksonville. Though he still hopes for improvement from the charity stripe, he was pleased with the effort put forth by the Gators over the last two games. Speaking about the Rhode Island victory, Donovan said UF outplayed URI in all but four minutes of the contest.

“We played a pretty complete game – outside the last four minutes of the first half, they beat us by seven the last four minutes,” he said. “The difference in the game tonight was, one, the rebounding margin and, two, the way we defended the three-point line.”

Turnovers were still a minor issue for the Gators on Monday, but improvement in the team’s collective ball handling was evident.

“We’re getting better there. The two guys that have the ball that are our playmakers are Chandler [Parsons] and Erving [Walker] a lot. Erv has five assists, four turnovers; Chandler five assists, three turnovers. So of our 13 turnovers, [seven] come from those two guys,” Donovan said. “It’s hard for me to nit pick at those guys because they both play so hard and they both do a lot of things, but we’ve got to get those two guys in particular to do a better job. We’re moving in the right direction.”

Florida scored more than 80 points for only the second time this season (105 on 11/18 vs. North Carolina A&T)

“Our guys offensively…we’re getting better, we’re improving,” he said. “I didn’t know if we could hold them to 59 points because they have so many different offensive weapons, but we did. We’re getting better on offense. Alex [Tyus] and Kenny Boynton didn’t have great shooting nights for us, but Chandler did and we were able to get the ball inside and still able to manufacture 84 points.”

Read the rest of the notes and quotes from Donovan…after the break!

PARSONS TURNS THINGS AROUND

Having posted only one double-digit scoring performance since Nov. 21, Parsons found some consistency and scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting Monday.

“Overall I thought Chandler played a really complete game. He shot it well, rebounded it well, made some good decisions, he defended well. He really had a good, complete game,” Donovan said. “The one thing I respect and appreciate about Chandler… We play against Xavier and he goes into that game and only takes four shots in the game and really did a lot of great things. He had 11 rebounds. Here’s a game where he got some open looks. He took his open looks; they went in. He still did the same things against Xavier that he did against Rhode Island, which was encouraging. He rebounded the ball and he made some plays. He just happened to have a pretty good offensive night tonight. A guy like Chandler – at 6’9” – when he’s playing the game, just playing, he can be very effective for us.”

YOUNG GROWING UP BEFORE HIS EYES

Freshman center Patric Young, who has played meaningful minutes all season but struggled with his consistency and offensive game, especially stood out to Donovan when he looked back on his performance after the contest. “I thought Patric really played a good game. You always get nervous when you start a freshman [due to] injuries because you don’t know how they are going to emotionally respond,” he said. “I thought Patric played a great game. He’s really been a different player for us since he’s come back from the break – just his attitude, his work ethic, how much he’s trying to get better.”

SOME BANGED UP GATORS

Sophomore forward Erik Murphy sat out Monday and will miss 5-10 days with a mid-foot sprain that had the coaching staff worried over the weekend. “We thought actually yesterday Murphy had broken his foot, we thought it was going to be 4-6 weeks. It came back the X-ray’s negative,” Donovan said. He is expected to miss Florida next game on Jan. 8 vs. Ole Miss and could also be out for their away game at Tennessee on Jan. 11.

Redshirt senior C Vernon Macklin, who the training staff considered doubtful to play on Sunday with a shoulder injury, felt well enough to come off the bench Monday. He played well for the Gators and is “fine” for UF’s next game.

How freshman F Will Yeguete will feel Saturday is unknown. After taking a charge and getting a knee to his hip flexor area, Yeguete had the wind knocked out of him and was unable to return to the contest. Donovan does not know the extent of his injury but is hopeful it is not a long-term issue. “When we tried to put him back in, he was having pain in his hip flexor/groin area,” he said. I don’t know to what extent or what degree the injury is [or] how long he’ll be out, but he was in enough pain that he didn’t feel like he could go. I’m hoping it was a knee-to-hip flexor bruise and he was just in pain.”

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