With the No. 7/8 Florida Gators set to play their second and third games within a six-day span this week, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Monday to discuss his team’s 3-0 start and how it has been playing so far this season.
» On Florida’s improved defense, which is No.3 nationally in scoring (45.3) and field goal percentage (.297): “That’s been kind of a focus for us going into the season. I think our guys have done a very good job. I think our schedule has been pretty competitive … it’s been something our guys have been conscientious of. They’ve worked hard at it, and I think we’ve got better at it.”
» On senior guard Kenny Boynton’s streakiness and ability to play defense: “I don’t know for Kenny, here at Florida, if he was just a high-volume shooter and didn’t care about the other floor, if that would be good. The thing I respect about him is he’s a guy that can score in bunches like he did [Sunday] where he gets 18 points in the second half and really goes without a field goal in the first half but he’s giving it to you at the other end of the floor. You can keep him on the floor. He has learned and understands that there are other ways he can impact the game, and one of the other ways he can impact the game is he’s a very good defender.”
» On if junior center Patric Young has shown improvement in every offseason target area: “Pat’s been maybe up-and-down in those areas, so-to-speak. I would have liked to have seen him rebound the basketball better [Sunday]. I think he only had two rebounds in 24 minutes. … He’s established himself in the low post. He’s given us a post presence. I think our guys are trying to get the ball to him there. I’m not so much worried about him scoring or not scoring when he gets the ball there. That’s just a product of the game. I think his stamina has gotten better. I think his motor has gotten better. I think his energy has gotten better. I think he’s trying to push himself. I’ve seen a lot of growth in Patric from last year to this year in terms of dealing with understanding what’s getting ready to come and what is coming during the course of a long season.
“The biggest thing for me … is if he can continue to run the floor very hard, if he can continue to chase basketballs on the background and just get deep post position. He’s going to be a really effective offensive player for us, and he’s going to be a very effective defensive rebounder for us.”
» On one way in which junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin’s suspension may have helped UF: “Trying to look at the Scottie situation as a positive, the one thing about it is we’ve got some things in offensively and we can do some things with a big lineup. I think our big lineup has proven to be a team that can also play some zone, too.”
» On the Gators’ rotation and how it changes when junior Casey Prather (concussions) returns: “I think this team’s got flexibility. I think [things change] when you’re in the course of a game. I just don’t think you can say, ‘OK, here’s our rotation. Here’s what we’re going to do.’ … I’ve never been a big believer that, going into a game, you say, ‘OK, here’s our rotation. This is what we’re doing.’ I think the only thing you can dictate rotation-wise, in my opinion, is when the game starts, who’s going to be your first two or three subs off the bench. After that, too many different things happen.”