Boynton scores 22 as Florida routs Texas A&M

It was another happy homecoming for junior guard Kenny Boynton, who scored 22 points and earned his second-straight Orange Bowl Basketball Classic Most Valuable Player award as he led the No. 13 Florida Gators (8-2) in an 84-64 rout of the No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies (8-2) in Sunrise, FL on Saturday.

Boynton’s six three-pointers led the way for the Gators, which hit 11 treys on the afternoon and reached double digits in that category for their eighth time in 10 games. Florida shot 36 percent from the line, 48 percent from the floor and – more importantly – 77 percent from the free throw line (23-of-30).

The Gators outrebounded the Aggies 30-26, the ninth time in 10 games they have accomplished that feat despite often being at a size disadvantage.

Florida opened the game with a 9-1 run and, following a Texas A&M free throw, completed another 9-0 run to take an early 18-2 advantage. The Aggies missed their first seven shots and did not hit a field goal in the first eight minutes.

A stretch of three triples (two from Boynton, one from junior forward Erik Murphy) put UF well out in front near the end of the first half, and the Gators kept the pressure on in the second half to pull out the 20-point victory.

Senior point guard Erving Walker (9-for-10 from the charity stripe) and freshman G Bradley Beal (6-for-6 from the line) each scored 16 points; Walker added six assists, while Beal grabbed four rebounds, dished three dimes and notched three steals. Murphy finished 4-of-6 with 13 points and five rebounds.

Defeating their first ranked opponent of the season in their fourth neutral site game this year, Florida returns to Gainesville, FL for a two-game home stand beginning with Mississippi Valley State on Monday. The game will air live at 7 p.m. on FOX Sports Florida (check your local listings).

FLORIDA FAN HITS $25,000 HALF-COURT SHOT
Continue Reading » Boynton scores 22 as Florida routs Texas A&M

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No. 13 Florida Gators vs. No. 22 Texas A&M

Event: 2011 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic
Location: BankAtlantic Center – Sunrise, FL [Capacity: 20,737]
Time: 2:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: FSN/Sun Sports
SiriusXM: 218/201
Live Updates: @OnlyGators (periodic score updates)

(13) FLORIDA GATORS (22) TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Billy Kennedy
Record: 7-2 Record: 8-1
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Pac-12
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -11; O/U 145

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on the Gators before the big game? No problem. OGGOA has been here all season long compiling a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam Saturday afternoon.

Story: Florida extends Billy Donovan through 2015-16

Donovan on free throws, Boynton’s homecoming | Rider post-game notes

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida and Texas A&M are tied 1-1 in the all-time series between the two teams, each winning one game at home. This is the first time the schools will square off on a neutral court and the first time they will play at all since 1992.
» The Gators are 3-2 under Donovan against Big 12 teams and 13-10 all-time.
» Florida is 8-2 all-time in the OBBC and will be participating in the event for the 11th time in the last 12 years.
» The Gators have made a three in 660 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 1992.
» Florida has connected on 10 or more treys in six of eight games this season, failing to do so only against Syracuse and Arizona. Hitting double-digit threes in six-straight games is the longest streak under Donovan.
» Three Gators players are shooting better than 40 percent from downtown.
» UF has outrebounded eight of nine opponents this season.
» Florida is ranked No. 3 in scoring offense (86.8 points), No. 11 in scoring margin (19.6 points), No. 6 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.57), No. 10 in assists (18.3) and No. 2 in three-pointers (11.3 per game) nationally as of Dec. 11. The Gators are also 317th (out of 338 teams) in free throw shooting (59.6 percent).
» UF has the second-best winning percentage against ranked opponents (.546) among SEC teams dating back to 1999-2000.
» The Gators are the first ranked opponent the Aggies have played this season.
» Texas A&M is on a six-game winning streak.
» The Aggies are ranked No. 4 in scoring defense (51.4 points), No. 2 in field goal defense (33.4 percent) and No. 4 in three-point defense (23.6 percent) nationally as of Dec. 11. Texas A&M is also No. 7 in rebounding (41.3).
» More than half of the Aggies’ points this season have come in the paint (53.1 percent).
» Texas A&M has held their last five opponents to averages of 44 points per game, 30.4 percent shooting from the floor and 17.8 percent shooting from downtown.
» The Aggies are 8-0 when leading at halftime or with five minutes to play.
» Texas A&M is 6-0 when shooting more free throws than their opponent and 7-0 when out-rebounding their opponent.
» The Aggies are 23-31 all-time against SEC schools.

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

FLORIDA
» Senior point guard Erving Walker (#11)…who is the longest tenured player on the team having appeared in 116 consecutive games with 55-straight starts. A shoot-first player much of his career, Walker has been tasked with distributing the ball and managing the game this year. He is the SEC’s active leader in minutes (3,462) and treys (236) but also ranks second in points (1,455), assists (423) and steals (134) as well as third in free throws (357). Walker is No. 12 on the school’s all-time scoring list, No. 5 in assists, No. 8 in free throws, No. 5 in threes made, No. 4 in treys attempted (619) and No. 10 in minutes. He is the only player on the team making more than three quarters of his free throws (76.3 percent).
» Junior guard Kenny Boynton (#1)…who is a dynamic scorer and just the second starter returning from a year ago. Boynton is working on his consistency this season and is already shooting better than he has throughout his career (50.0 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from downtown). He is the best defender on the Gators and is often put on the opponent’s best backcourt playmaker. Boynton currently ranks fifth in the SEC among active players in points (1,169) and fourth in three-pointers (184). He has hit a trey in 25-straight games.
» Freshman G Bradley Beal (#23)…who is starting at the three for Florida fresh out of high school. Beal was the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year, one of the top five players in the country, and is arguably the most talented player to sign with the Gators since Donovan took over. He is averaging 15.1 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the line (second best on the team).
» Sophomore center Patric Young (#4)…who joined the starting lineup this year after being the primary frontcourt reserve as a freshman. Young saw action in all 37 games as a freshman, averaging 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in limited action. He has four double-doubles on the season and scored a career-high 25 points against Arizona. Young is posting averages of 11.6 points, 7.9 boards and 1.6 blocks per game.
» Sophomore forward Will Yeguete (#15)…who is Florida’s do-everything player, averaging 6.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 22.6 minutes per game. The Gators’ primary frontcourt reserve, Yeguete has been thrust into the starting lineup recently due to injury.
» Redshirt junior G Mike Rosario (#3)…who is finally playing for Florida after transferring out of Rutgers and sitting out the 2010-11 season. Rosario scored more than 1,000 points in two seasons with his former team and averaged 16.7 points per game during his sophomore year. He is the Gators’ de facto sixth man and is seeing 17.7 minutes of court time each game, averaging 9.8 points while shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 37.0 percent from beyond the arc.

TEXAS A&M
» F Ray Turner (#35)…who is the Aggies tallest starter at 6’9” and is averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 63.8 percent from the floor in 24 minutes per game. He will likely be tasked with going up against Young throughout the contest.
» F Khris Middleton (#22)…who returned to the starting lineup a week ago after missing seven games due to suffering a partially torn meniscus in the season opener. Middleton is averaging 15.0 points, 4.5 boards and a pair of assists in the two contests he played this year.
» G Elston Turner (#31)…who sees the court the most for Texas A&M, averaging 29.3 minutes per game. Turner averages 12.1 points, 3.4 boards and 2.2 dimes while shooting 40 percent from downtown and 84.6 percent from the charity stripe.

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Florida extends Billy Donovan through 2015-16

Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan will be holding that title for a few more years as the school announced Friday that the two sides have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him wearing the orange and blue through the 2015-16 season.

“Billy Donovan has built one of the elite programs in the country at the University of Florida, he and his family have given 16 incredible years to this institution and community,” athletic director Jeremy Foley said in an official school release. “His accomplishments speak for themselves, but he’s also achieved success with integrity, character and loyalty. We’re thrilled that he will continue to lead our program for years to come.”

Donovan himself said on Oct. 13 that the two sides were close to signing the extension but still had to work on some details.

“In this day and age in coaching, it’s very rare that you stay at a job starting my 16th year and you still have the same athletic director in place,” he said. “It has been our relationship that has made this job and this opportunity for me here so special is my relationship with him. I would think that it would happen soon. Probably need to ask him that question. I’m ready to go.”

UF notes that “the financial conditions of the extension are the same as those Donovan agreed to after he guided the Gators to a second-straight national championship in the spring of 2007.”

At that time, Donovan signed a six-year, $19.5 million contract (before incentives) with annual pay that increased from $3.1 million in the first year to $3.5 million in 2012-13.

That puts his three-year extension at approximately $10-10.5 million.

If Donovan chooses to terminate the contract, it will cost him $500,000; however if he is fired by the school without cause, Florida will owed him $2.5 million per year remaining on the deal. Should either action take place within a one-month window (March 1-April 1), no monies would be owed.

The Gainesville Sun’s Kevin Brockway reports that Donovan will earn a loyalty bonus of $500,000 heading into next season and $340,000 prior to each of the final three years of his deal. He will also receive a $60,000 expense account.

The Gators provided him with a number of incentives on his last contract including $37,500 for making the NCAA Tournament, another $37,500 for earning a Sweet 16 berth, an additional $25,000 for getting to the Final Four and another $150,000 for winning the national championship. Donovan can also receive $25,000 for being named the SEC Coach of the Year (by the AP), $25,000 for winning the SEC Tournament title, $50,000 for earning the SEC regular season crown, $50,000 for finishing in the top-10 of the final AP poll, and $50,000 for being named National Coach of the Year.

He can earn an additional month’s salary for graduating 60 percent of his players and 10 percent of his annual salary if he hits an 80 percent graduation rate.

Donovan has led Florida to four SEC Championships (2000-01, 2007, 2011) and back-to-back national titles (2006-07). He won his 400th career game on Nov. 28 and has been victorious in 71 percent of the contests his Gators teams have participated in over 16 seasons. Donovan earned his first SEC Coach of the Year award in 2011.

Photo Credit: H. Darr Beiser/USA Today

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12/15: Donovan on free throws, Boynton, Beal

With No. 13 Florida Gators basketball set to face the No. 22 Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday at the 2011 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, FL, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Thursday to discuss what preparations he and the team have been making over the last week for the squad’s next game.

ADDRESSING THE FREE THROW WOES

Donovan has been adamant over the last two weeks that he is doing whatever he can to help his players improve their free throw shooting. Having so much time off (though the Gators were studying and taking tests most of the time) has given Florida the ability to work on it even more than they normally would during a game week.

“It’s something we’ve got to get better at, something we’ve spent time on. That’s probably an area of the game we’ve maybe underachieved in right now because we have guys who are better shooters from the line than maybe what we’ve displayed up to this point in time,” he said Thursday.

“There’s certainly guys that got to go up there with more confidence and a better focus. You have to work on it. There’s nothing you can necessarily really do. If there was something you could do as a coach, every team would shoot great from the free throw line. It’s something they’ve got to really focus in on and something they’ve got to really understand the importance of. And they do. They understand that and want to get better at it. I think they’re willing to work at it. As our focus gets narrowed in that area, I’m hopeful we’ll get better there.”

Junior guard Kenny Boynton noted that Donovan has “been trying to solve it this whole week” by having the players shoot either 50 or 100 free throws after every practice. He also calls them to the line late during practice and has them shoot free throws with the threat of running suicides if a player misses one or both.

BOYNTON RETURNING HOME

A product of South Florida, Boynton loves playing in the OBBC each year as it gives his family and friends a chance to watch him on the court without having to make the trek up to Gainesville, FL.

“I got a couple people coming this year. It’s definitely a fun game going back down there. It’s right down the street from American Heritage, where I went to high school at,” he explained. “It should be fun. It definitely feels like a home game. Everyone will be there, but when we get on the court I have to just get out there and play.”

Donovan likes playing in Sunrise for a different reason.

“The one thing that’s great is that we always want to recruit Broward and Dade County. We’ve had obviously a fair number of players from that part of the state. Being able to get down there is good,” he said. “I know we’ve got a large contingency of Gator alumni and boosters that are in South Florida. Since I’ve been here, I’ve always wanted to try to play a game down there once a year because it’s been good for our program and it’s been good to be able to get down there and play.”

He’s also expecting to see the good version of Boynton on Saturday, something that was absent against Arizona but reappeared versus Rider.

“In the Arizona game, he’s 2-or-11 from the field and really hadn’t distributed the ball and made the passes that he had been doing this year. The thing that he’s got to understand is that the game is a long time; the game is a long game. If you’re efficient on offense – you take high percentage shots and you shoot a good percentage – you’re always going to have – in our style of playing – an opportunity to score,” Donovan explained.

“The thing for him to take his game to another level is to do what he did against Rider: He goes out there and shoots a high percentage from the field, he gets five or six assists and no turnovers, he plays a really good floor game and he shot the ball well. I still believe that if Kenny Boynton is not scoring and/or making shots, it is not the end of the world for him and our team because there’s so many other things he does.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Donovan on the No. 1 thing the team needs to improve on aside from free throw shooting: “Us getting more cohesive on offense – that’s going to be important. Patric [Young]’s game against Arizona helped because I think our guys were able to see clearly – when he gets the ball with angles in the right areas to score, he can certainly score and we found him. Our guys understanding how and when to find him is important. Patric understanding when and where to throw it out of the post is important. Spacing when there’s penetration, Erving [Walker] not getting caught up in the air, us not driving the ball in too deep or taking ill advised shots.”

» Donovan on how freshman G Bradley Beal is developing: “He’s far along just because of his mental capability to be able to handle what’s being thrown at him. I do think right now there are going to be ups and downs for him because he’s a freshman and not every game is going to be perfect and ideal. He’s learned, he’s grown, he’s gotten better. He’s understanding the speed of the game; the speed of the game was probably something that was maybe a little bit surprising to him. You think you’re open and you have time to shoot the ball and those gaps close pretty quickly. The length of people running at you in relationship to maybe what was running at him in high school.”

» Beal on what has changed for him: “I’m probably not as nervous as I was. It started to come natural, and I’m starting to play within the flow of the game. I’m not really forcing anything; I’m really just relaxing and enjoying the game.”

» Beal on an adjustment he has to make: “Probably getting my shot off quicker because Coach Donovan has told me it’s taking a lot to get my shot off. Really just trying to quicken my shot, quicken my release and get the ball in the air faster.”

» Beal on if it is tough to shoot faster: “It’s pretty easy to do because you really don’t change anything. You just have to focus on jumping quicker and releasing it quicker. The form doesn’t change or anything like that. Coach Donovan said most of my shots are missed because of my legs. I’m starting to play lower to the ground and getting my legs more involved in my game.”

» Boynton on pushing the tempo against Texas A&M: “It’s definitely important. The most important thing is for us to get back on defense. We watched them play yesterday, and the coach preaches getting a good shot in the first seven seconds. They do a good job at that. I don’t think they like playing much in the half court, so we’re definitely going to try to limit their fast break possessions.”

» Boynton on Beal’s attitude this year: “His attitude has been positive since day one. I think Brad is doing a great job overall. He works hard, stays after in practice. Even when its not going his way, he keeps a positive attitude. Young players usually get down on themselves in games, and I think that’s a great thing about Brad.”

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Corey Brewer headed to Denver Nuggets in trade

For the third time in under 10 months, former Florida Gators guard/forward Corey Brewer will be playing for a different NBA franchise.

Signed to a three-year contract by the Dallas Mavericks after being waived by the New York Knicks last March, Brewer has been shipped to the Denver Nuggets along with Rudy Fernandez for a second-round pick and additional space under the salary cap, according to ESPN NBA correspondent Marc Stein.

“Man the NBA is a business I’ll miss you Dallas but can’t wait to get to Denver! Thanks mavs fans y’all ate great,” he wrote on his Twitter account Tuesday evening.

Brewer, who has $5.2 million remaining on his deal, was sent from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Knicks as part of the trade for Carmelo Anthony last year.

After New York released him – partially as a favor because the team was not planning on playing him – he was courted by nearly a dozen teams.

Dallas snatched him up and used him as a bench player during their run to the 2011 NBA title, though he only saw 22 minutes over six playoff games.

Brewer averaged 24.3 minutes per contest with the Timberwolves in 2011, posting averages of 8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He did not step on the court once for the Knicks but averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 11.4 minutes over 13 regular season games with the Mavericks.

Though Dallas was reportedly pleased with Brewer’s long-term potential, the opportunity to create space under the salary cap for the 2012 season was too much to pass up.

Denver coveted Brewer and Fernandez and had roster spots to fill due to both Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith signing offseason contracts with professional teams in China.

The Nuggets are also said to be interested in Philadelphia 76ers center Marreese Speights, who the team sees as a potential replacement in the middle of the paint should Nene choose to sign elsewhere this offseason.

Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

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SIX Tebow BITS: Meyer, Noah, Wuerffel, Brady

1 » Though he is now at Ohio State, former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer still obviously has an affinity for quarterback Tim Tebow. Speaking with The Gainesville Sun, Meyer explained how proud he was of what Tebow has been able to accomplish this year. “Isn’t it great?” he said. “He did it in high school, he did it in college and now he’s doing it in the NFL. What more do you want? The thing about Tim is he makes the people around him better. It’s the essence of football. It doesn’t matter what style of offense you run. It’s a team sport.” As to those non-believers? “They just don’t want to buy in,” Meyer said. “Even John Elway. It doesn’t matter if you brought him in if you’re Elway or the general manager. Who cares? Just enjoy it.”

2 » Crossing paths with Tebow during his time in Gainesville, FL, former Gators center Joakim Noah (now of the Chicago Bulls) also waxed poetic about the former Heisman Trophy winner. Just one day before Tebow faced the Chicago Bears, Noah was excited to show his Florida pride at practice. “Timothyyyy!” Noah said proudly, according to ESPNChicago.com. “We got to show Timothy a little love here. For all the haters out there, you know the guy is kicking ass. Making me very proud to be a Gator boy.” He added that, while he may not share the same belief system as Tebow, that does not make him any less of a supporter. “It’s a beautiful story,” he said. “He is who he is. There’s no lie about who he is. He’s comfortable. Me personally, I have completely different beliefs than him. But at the same time I respect the fact that he speaks his truth. He speaks his truth and he’s a warrior. He’s a winner. At the end of the day, his teammates respect that.” Noah went on to talk about the two being in a class together and how, being a “Gator boy” he “love[s] the Tebow talk.”

Read four more BITS about Tebow…after the break.
Continue Reading » SIX Tebow BITS: Meyer, Noah, Wuerffel, Brady

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Gators check in at No. 13; two win SEC honors

The fifth editions of the regular season USA Today/ESPN and Associated Press Top 25 Polls were released on Monday, and the Syracuse Orange were named the new No. 1 team in the country as Kentucky and Ohio State each lost over the weekend.

The Florida Gators fell one spot to No. 13 in both polls on the heels of consecutive victories last week including an overtime win at home against Arizona. Kansas, which defeated No. 2 Ohio State 78-67, jumped UF in both top 25s. Florida is one of five Southeastern Conference teams listed in the respective rankings.

Additionally, two Gators took home SEC weekly honors with sophomore center Patric Young and freshman guard Bradley Beal announced as the Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week for their respective performances. Young averaged 18.5 points and 10 rebounds (shooting 77.3 percent with a pair of double-doubles), while Beal averaged 13.5 points and five boards.

WeekGator BaitRecordAP Top 25USA TodayNCAA RPI
Preseason--No. 7 (1,153)No. 7 (568)-
2W 68-45 vs. William & Mary1-0No. 8 (1,127)No. 7 (560)-
3L 69-67 vs. Miami
W(OT) 61-56 vs. ULM
2-1No. 18 (467)No. 16 (303)-
4L(OT) 65-66 vs. Georgetown
W 56-47 vs. UAB
L 64-75 vs. North Carolina
3-3NR (40)No. 24 (60)-

USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES POLL
This Week 1-5: Syracuse (28), Ohio State (2), Kentucky, Louisville, Duke
6-10: North Carolina, Baylor, Missouri, Xavier, Connecticut
11-15: Marquette, Kansas, Florida, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin
16-20: Mississippi State, Georgetown, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana
21-25: Alabama, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Creighton, Vanderbilt

Last Week 1-5: Kentucky (19), Ohio State (11), Syracuse (1), Louisville, Duke
6-10: North Carolina, Baylor, Xavier, Connecticut, Missouri
11-15: Marquette, Florida, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Alabama
16-20: Wisconsin, Creighton, Mississippi State, Michigan, Memphis
21-25: Georgetown, Illinois/Gonzaga, Harvard, Texas A&M

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25 POLL
This Week 1-5: Syracuse, Ohio State, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina
6-10: Baylor, Duke, Xavier, Connecticut, Missouri
11-15: Marquette, Kansas, Florida, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh
16-20: Georgetown, Mississippi State, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan
21-25: Michigan State, Texas A&M, Alabama, Murray State, Creighton/Vanderbilt

Last Week 1-5: Kentucky (47), Ohio State (18), Syracuse, North Carolina, Louisville
6-10: Baylor, Duke, Xavier, Connecticut, Missouri
11-15: Marquette, Florida, Kansas, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh
16-20: Alabama, Mississippi State, Georgetown, Creighton, Michigan
21-25: Memphis, Texas A&M, Gonzaga, Illinois, Harvard

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

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12/9: Florida vs. Rider post-game notes

The No. 12 Florida Gators beat up on the Rider Broncs 90-69 on Friday evening in a neutral site game played in Jacksonville, FL. After the game, head coach Billy Donovan his thoughts on the win and the team’s upcoming break.

WALKER, BOYNTON PLAYING TO THEIR STRENGTHS

Having received plenty of criticism throughout their Gators careers, senior point guard Erving Walker and junior guard Kenny Boynton played exactly how Florida fans (and Donovan) have always wanted them to on Friday. Walker – rather than over-penetrating, forcing three-pointers and turning the ball over – was composed and efficient, scoring 12 points while hitting 4-of-6 shots from downtown, adding four assists, four rebounds and just one turnover. Boynton – save for a poor shooting performance Wednesday – continued his hot start to the season with a game-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting while going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc.

“If you look at the quality of shots that those guys took and the way they were balanced, clearly they showed the kind of shooters they are. I told Erving this: 3-for-16, those days are over with right now. There’s too much offense on the floor right now, and you got to be able to just bide your time,” Donovan said after the game. “Tonight he took [seven] shots and he was really good. He controlled the game; he got the ball where it needed to go. He knocked down a couple threes in the second half. I thought Kenny got some good looks; he was patient. And I thought both guys really were patient.

“I give those guys a lot of credit. They want to win. I think sometimes those two guys get misconstrued a lot of times of what they’re about. Both of them want to win, and they’ve got a strong desire to win. What makes both of them great players is there’s a fearlessness there that they want to go out there and do it.

“Our team is different. We needed them sometimes when Chandler [Parsons] was maybe struggling to shoot the ball or Vernon [Macklin] had to be off the floor in the game because we were worried about him being fouled. It’s just a learning process of what’s around them right now, but they’ve always been like that. When you make points to those guys and they see it, they’re smart, intelligent guys and they understand. And they’re about the right things. They’re not the kind of guys that – people think they just want to shoot and score. They’re not like that at all, believe me. I’ve been around Erv now for four years; I’ve been around Kenny for three. I know what these guys are all about. They’re coachable, really good guys.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Donovan on positives from the game: “Our guys’ patience was great. We established Patric [Young] in the first half. Erving played with great poise and tempo and pace, made really good decisions, didn’t get in too deep, made good passes. Patric was phenomenal in the first half; in the second half, his presence in the first half really opened up our shooting from behind the line. We had pretty good balance. When Patric did get it in the post in the second half, he did a great job of passing it out. I was really impressed with his unselfishness tonight. He could have really had a big game offensively just like the game against Arizona. He really played a smart, intelligent game and, through his presence up front, it kept everybody involved.”

» Donovan on the negatives from the game: “I was disappointed just with our defensive focus. We got into trading way too many baskets. Our defense guarding the ball was not very good, and we were terrific at that against Arizona, so I know we got the ability to do it. We were not great [on that end].”

» Donovan on Boynton’s penchant for four-point plays: “Sometimes with the way he does shoot a little bit – not that he kicks his legs out – but the way he does shoot. When he’s balanced, guys are flying at him sometimes and he gets it off quick enough that he can make those shots when he’s balanced. […] When he gets into a rhythm where he gets a couple clean looks and he knocks down a couple, then he’s capable of making a tough one here and there. The problem is when he starts off taking tough ones, of getting back into a rhythm and a flow.”

» Donovan on if this is a good time for the team to have some days off for finals: “Our guys need a little bit of a mental break here, I think, just to get their legs back under them, mentally get rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s a hard week for these guys because you’re practicing at odd times [and they’re taking exams]. Not having a game for a week and being able to work on some things that hopefully we can get better at, I think every coach says this but we need some practice time and hopefully we can get better.”

» Donovan said Florida should have scored more in the game, especially considering the team’s 25-to-6 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Gators missed a lot of easy layups and open shots in the contest.

» Between the quality of opponents, different styles of offense and defense, and the tough venues that Florida has played in already this season, the Gators should be totally prepared for anything they face in the SEC, Donovan said.

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