No. 1 Florida Gators basketball (29-2, 18-0 SEC) concluded the regular season as the Southeastern Conference champions and now looks ahead to the 2014 SEC Tournament, which the team is set to compete in beginning with quarterfinal action on Friday. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Monday to his team’s focus heading into the tournament.
NEXT STEP: SEC TOURNAMENT
Most of the records that the Gators have broken this season are ones the team previously held during its back-to-back national championship campaigns. Florida looks earn another “first since 2007” this week when it competes in the SEC Tournament and tries to take home both crowns in a single season.
“The regular season is over with. Everybody in the league starts out and it’s 0-0. It’s kind of a new season, so to speak, over a five-day event,” said Donovan on Monday. “We have some time to prepare and get ourselves better. We will take on with the next challenge at a neutral site against teams that we might not have seen in some time, teams that have gotten better and improved. I think our guys are excited.
“All that really matters is the first game that we play on Friday. That’s all that matters right now. We don’t know who we’re going to play, so it’s a little bit of a unique situation. At this time of the year you always have an idea of who we’re playing next and you can start the preparation. That’s not the case here. With this tournament, we play the winner of that game on Thursday [Missouri vs. Texas A&M] and we’ll have to make sure we’re really ready to play. The scouting part of it is hard because you’re not going to find out who you’re going to play until late that afternoon on Thursday.”
Donovan has decided not to have the Gators over-prepare for that unknown opponent. Florida took Sunday and Monday off of practice but will be on the court Tuesday-Thursday before heading to Atlanta, GA. The goal is to keep Florida “energized, excited and enthusiastic” while making the team aware of trends that it can either continue or eliminate over the course of the week.