With No. 9/10 Florida Gators basketball set to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins Friday evening in Gainesville, FL, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Wednesday to discuss what preparations have been made for his team’s next non-conference home game.
YOUNG’s EYE NOT A BIG DEAL
Despite sophomore center Patric Young sporting a bruised eye with plenty of swelling after being poked in it during Monday’s game, Donovan said that his big man is fine, practiced in full all week and will be good to go on Friday. Young has a small tear sclera (white part) of his eye and will wear goggles during the game to prevent irritation and potential further injury. He has not had any blurred vision and did not have anything happen to his pupil or retina.
“You don’t know how important your body parts are until you can’t use them, especially your vision,” Young said Wednesday.
UNDERSTANDING URBAN MEYER’s TOUGH SPOT
As a two-time national championship winning coach, Donovan empathized with the situation that former Gators head coach Urban Meyer finds himself in. Donovan commented at length about Meyer and his potential decision to return to coaching.
“He loves football. He’s really evaluating what he wants to do as a coach. Sometimes people look at things maybe a little bit differently than what reality is sometimes. The biggest thing for him right now, that he’s trying to get his arms around, is when you get a chance to win a couple national championships, every coach wants to experience that. There is a perception created that it brings a level of worth and value to your life, and it really doesn’t. […]
“You got to really enjoy the process of dealing with these guys each and every day. Sometimes there’s victories that nobody sees that you got to really look at in terms of helping these guys get better. What happened for Urban – and it happened to me too – is you look at it’s happened twice so why am I coaching? What is my purpose for coaching besides just winning? I don’t think your drive or desire diminishes as far as wanting that to happen, but it doesn’t necessarily make your life complete when it does happen. There are so many coaches out there chasing that, thinking that something is going to change, and when they get it I’m not so sure it does.
“For Urban, it’s that balance now for him of chasing championships, his family, his health, those things. ‘Can I balance all that? Can I make it all work? Can I do it in a way that I can feel good about myself, feel good about my family, feel good about myself as a coach?’ I think he’s evaluating those kind of things and then he’s got to figure out how he can go about enjoying the process.
“My guess would be – and this is not about Ohio State. Do I think he’ll go back and coach? Yeah, I think he will, but I think for himself he’s got to get himself to a place where he feels good about the other aspects of his life that he was missing out on or wasn’t as attentive to as he wanted to be or felt comfortable with himself internally that he was handling the right way. That’s what I think it’s all about for him.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On being pleased that the guards are getting plenty of rebounds due to effort and recognition of the importance of giving the team chances to score: “We’ve certainly had a size advantage the last three games we’ve played, but our guards are trying to get in there. That’s something that we can embrace and have to understand. That’s a commitment and mindset each and every game we play. We’ve at least proven that with a good level of focus on that, we should be able to hold our own.”
» On playing redshirt freshman forward Cody Larson more: “The hardest thing for a guy coming off the bench is, ‘When am I going in?’ We’ve got a little bit of that with our bench right now. There’s not a flow of them knowing when they’re coming in. […] We’ve got to get Cody in the rotation and get him in a position where he’s giving us some more depth across our frontline. I do trust him out there, but I just got to get him in a better rotation right now.”
» On how he statistically evaluates defense: “It’s pretty clear when [Mike] Rosario’s guarding a guy and a guy goes right by him. There is no chart for that.”