1/21: Florida vs. LSU post-game news and notes

By Adam Silverstein
January 21, 2012

The No. 14/17 Florida Gators earned another solid victory on Saturday by defeating the LSU Tigers 76-64 at home in Gainesville, FL. With sophomore center Patric Young (ankle) again out of the starting lineup and Florida set for two games in three days next week, head coach Billy Donovan had plenty to talk about after the win.

YOUNG GETTING BACK INTO THE GROOVE

Now having been held out of the starting lineup for consecutive games, Young is obviously anxious to get back to the spot he earned in the offseason. However, due to the fact that he missed plenty of practice over the bye week and is still experiencing some discomfort with his ankle tendinitis, Young came off the bench again on Saturday.

Donovan said after the game that one additional benefit of bringing Young in as a reserve is that it bucks his tendency to leave him in the game too long. He explained that he has previously been keeping Young on the court for long stretches and noticed that his energy level can go down a bit.

For Donovan, Young’s energy is more important than his offense. Saturday’s performance, in which Young was all over the court defensively and when shots went off the glass, is proof that thought holds some merit.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]“Forget about the offense, I think there’s so much talked about him getting the ball and not getting the ball. It really doesn’t make a difference because right now our team is an efficient offensive team,” Donovan said. “We do have a balance. The thing that Patric brings to our team is when he plays at an incredible emotional level it opens up so many different things for our team.

“When he is running the floor as hard as he can and he is posting up, it draws so much attention that it opens so many things up on the perimeter. And when they try to shut down the perimeter, you can throw the ball inside to him.”

Once Young returns to the starting lineup, which could be as soon as Thursday in a road game against Ole Miss, Donovan may still reduce his minutes not only to help his ankle but also to assist in keeping his energy on full throttle.

“Right now he says he feels fine. Whether or not it will be prolonged or continue, I don’t know,” he said of Young and his ankle injury. “I just didn’t think [with him missing so much practice] it warranted him starting.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Donovan on what Florida can learn from the victory: “They’re eager to learn. They’re good guys. But the basketball IQ and the basketball experience for some of them needs to get better. Hopefully through experience they can get better. There are some things that we can learn from this game [like] making decisions and things that allow team to go on a run, how you yourself can break your own momentum.”

» Donovan on if practices have been much more difficult recently: “I’m working them hard. We are a great group of kids that sometimes get a little too easy going. We need to have a little more fire, a little more passion, and I think that probably needs to come from me as a coach.”

» Donovan on junior guard Kenny Boynton’s 34-game streak with a three-pointer ending: “I don’t even know if Kenny realized it during the game. I didn’t realize it.”

» Senior point guard Erving Walker on winning without hitting threes: “We believe we can win these games when we’re not shooting well. Maybe [the media] didn’t, but we thought we could.”

» Freshman G Bradley Beal on Donovan’s lessons in practice working in games: “He’s not one of the best coaches for no reason. He knows what he’s talking about. We just have to bear down and just listen to what he’s saying and buy in to everything he’s saying.”[/EXPAND]

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