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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Gators trample Broncs 90-69 in Jacksonville

Just two days removed from a hard-fought overtime victory, the No. 12 Florida Gators (7-2) upended the Rider Broncs (1-9) 90-69 in a neutral site game at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL.

Gators junior guard Kenny Boynton rebounded from his Wednesday struggles and led the way for UF with a team-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting (5-for-9 from downtown) to go along with five rebounds. Freshman G Bradley Beal scored 18 points, adding four boards, three assists and a steal to his total.

Florida’s offense got going right off the tip, scoring 14 points in the first five minutes, but the Gators defense was not as effective giving up easy baskets to Rider early on.

UF and the RU went through a scoring drought midway through the half, but the Gators eventually opened up a 15-point lead thanks to a 10-2 run capped bookended by three-pointers by junior forward Erik Murphy and senior point guard Erving Walker.

The Broncs played good defense down the stretch but a buzzer-beating floater to end the first half by redshirt junior guard Mike Rosario coupled with a trio of treys after the break were part of a 13-2 run that put the Gators ahead 25 points.

Rider never allowed Florida to extend its lead too much, reducing their deficit 19 points on numerous occasions during the contest. UF, however, kept hitting their shots and coasted to a relativey easy victory.

The Gators also benefited from a pair of very efficient performances. Walker scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting (4-of-6 from downtown) with five rebounds, four assists and no turnovers, and hometown favorite sophomore center Patric Young hit 5-of-7 shots for 12 points, adding nine rebounds (four offensive).

UF’s 14 three-pointers marked the seventh time in nine games they have reached double digits in that area. Florida once again shot poorly from the free throw line, hitting just 6-of-10 shots. Each team notched 30 rebounds, but the Gators only turned the ball over six times compared to 13 for the Broncs and dished 19 dimes on 35 field goals.

Florida will have a week off for finals before heading down to Sunrise, FL to take on Texas A&M in the 2011 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. The game is the second of a double-header and will air live on FSN at 4:30 p.m.

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12/8: Donovan on free throws, Young’s big game

With No. 12 Florida Gators basketball set to face the Rider Broncos on Friday in Jacksonville, FL, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Thursday to discuss what preparations have been made for his team’s next game.

FIGURING OUT FREE THROW SHOOTING

Despite Florida’s lackluster results from the charity stripe, Donovan said the team works on free throws during every practice. One thing he does is put pressure on players by calling them to the line and forcing them to make consecutive shots or else the entire team has to run suicides. “When Will [Yeguete] goes to the free throw line in practice and misses four in a row, and now they’re on their fifth suicide, I think he probably feels a little pressure and probably feels bad the guys are running,” he explained.

The Gators did succeed in hitting 13 of their last 16 attempts, but Donovan noted that does not mean too much in the grand scheme of things. “Every one is important. You need every one when you’re playing in a game,” he said. “There’s a focus that needs to be there and more of a consistency mentally for those guys when they’re there. That’s a locked in, tunnel vision on what they need to do while they’re at the line.”

Donovan expects Florida to get better at it as they concentrate on it more but was still dumbfounded to recount how the team started off their game against Arizona. “Yeah, there will be some free throw shooting today. There definitely will be. I’ve never seen 2-for-14 – that’s the most unheard of. We’re a good shooting team; we should be a much better free throw shooting team,” he said.

YOUNG BEGINNING TO BREAK OUT

With an efficient shooting night, a career-high 25 points and double-digit rebounds to boot, sophomore center Patric Young ensured that his name was heard on Wednesday. What Donovan cares most about is that Young comes back down to earth and puts the great performance behind him before heading home to Jacksonville to take on Rider.

“This is a great opportunity really for Patric to learn,” he said. “One of the hardest things with players when they’re young is to be able to let go of when something really good happens. A lot of times when you lose or you have a bad game, you want to get past it and you want to get on to the next thing. […] He’s got to go into the game and play the game with an understanding that last night’s over with and be able to move to the next game.”

Young, who joked that he has “the whole arena…reserved” for his friends and family, said it has been tough to put the performance behind him because “every five minutes somebody reminds me.”

“I had like 50 something messages on my phone telling me good job [Wednesday],” Young said. “ I guess you could view it as a breakthrough game. It was almost double my former career-high. I had an opportunity to showcase what I can really do and what I’m capable of doing for the team. Whenever my number is called again, hopefully it’ll be sometime along the lines of this season, hopefully I can do the same thing.”

Even so, he is confident that by game time on Friday he will be able to focus on the contest at hand no matter how well he did previously or who is in the crowd.

“I’m just going to think of it as any other game – go out there and do the things I can control like run the floor, rebound and finish when the ball comes to me,” he said.

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Donovan on who will start at the four: “Right now we’re staying with Will until I think Erik can get his legs under him a little bit and get some more minutes under his belt. Will’s obviously played well and given us a great boost in Erik’s absence. From an offensive standpoint, the way Erik can stretch the floor and the way he can shoot the ball, we certainly need to get him back in the rotation and get him back playing.”

» Donovan on if the team is closer to finding an identity: “There’s a cohesiveness, a chemistry, a bond on the court that needs to transpire and take place. I always think that’s a work in progress. When you play the schedule we’ve played, playing on the road at Ohio State and Syracuse then playing last night against Arizona and playing Jacksonville who beat us the year before, those things kind of get themselves resolved. When you’re in a tight game like that, possession become important, playing together becomes important, utilizing each other becomes important. That, for us, is a work in progress.”

» Donovan on if freshman Jacoby Brissett has contacted him about joining the team: “No, I have not spoken to him.”

» Donovan on why Florida fouled up three against Arizona and what he thought of the official’s call in the act of shooting: “[Casey Prather] didn’t make the decision. I made the decision to foul. He did exactly what we wanted to do. […] I really felt on the side on an inbounds play they were going to have to throw the ball to somebody. I felt like we could matchup and get there. Exactly what he did was what we wanted to happen. I just felt like he fouled him before [he took tried to take the shot]. That’s just my opinion; obviously it was a different call. I felt good about what we did there. […] I’ve never seen a guy start his act of shooting with his back to the basket. That’s not in the act of shooting. I thought Solomon Hill did a fabulous job selling it – did a great job. Clearly I don’t know if it was the right call.”

» Donovan on what redshirt junior guard Mike Rosario needs to do to improve on defense: “Foot speed-wise he’s [not] as gifted as Scottie [Wilbekin] or Erving [Walker] or Kenny [Boynton], so to speak. He has the ability and potential to be a very good defender because he’s very smart. He’s intelligent. His problem is that he gets too loose and gets too relaxed sometimes and then all of a sudden his man moves or breaks or comes off a screen and he’s like a step late. He needs to be better sniffing out what’s getting ready to happen instead of reacting to what’s happened – almost anticipating what’s going to happen. His ability to guard on the dribble has got to get better; he’s got to do a better job doing that for us.”

» Young on the team’s free throw shooting: “It’s crazy because we’re actually a good free throw shooting team when it comes to practicing. When it matters and it comes to the game, we’re just coming up short. Guys are going to put in work because they don’t want to leave those points up on the board.”

» Young on SportsCenter not covering the Gators enough: “I feel like SportsCenter doesn’t give us any love. They don’t’ show our highlights. They don’t. They don’t. I could watch it for two hours, and they would not show Florida basketball highlights at all. I’m serious. You have to go on to their website to find it and look it up. Not on TV though.”

» Young on why Yeguete is so good: “He has a [good] mindset, long arms, his size being 6’7” he’s able to move his feet and guard anybody in front of him. He can guard 1-5 which is really rare with any player nowadays, especially with a big strong poster. He’s able to keep guys in front of him and hold his own.”

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