Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

Florida Gators basketball may – or may not – be without two of its best players this week when it participates in the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas beginning on Wednesday.

Redshirt juniors guard Eli Carter (foot sprain) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (hairline fractures in hand) both traveled with the Gators on Monday though Carter is not cleared to practice and Finney-Smith has been held out of team drills in order to rest his non-shooting hand as much as possible.

“We don’t play until Wednesday. I would say probably, by after our practice Tuesday, I’ll have a really good gauge of where those guys are at. I know that’s tomorrow, but I know right now both of those guys are not really cleared for practice,” head coach Billy Donovan said on Monday.

“My feeling right now going into this is we’re going to basically have the team we had playing against Louisiana-Monroe. That’s how I’m going into it right now, how I’m approaching it.”

Continue Reading » Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

No. 8 Florida Gators basketball (2-1) needed overtime to edge the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Injuries to a pair of key players depleted Florida’s depth chart, but the Gators were nevertheless able to come from 12 points down to defeat the Warhawks 61-56.

Head coach Billy Donovan met with the media after the game to discuss his high-level concerns about the Florida basketball team and two players who may be out for an extended period of time.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE GATORS?

Florida struggled mightily against Louisiana-Monroe, falling behind by 12 in the first half, needing a 15-0 run just to take a nine-point lead in the second half (despite UF being favored by 21 against ULM), coughing up an eight-point lead with last than two minutes remaining and barely squeaking by the visitors in overtime.

Donovan has repeated week after week that the Gators have a long way to go to be a truly capable and successful team this season, and he stuck with that opinion late Friday.

Continue Reading » 11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Fastbreak: Short-handed No. 8 Florida survives scare from ULM, wins 61-56 in overtime

No. 8 Florida Gators basketball (2-1) was forced to deal with a second-straight scare at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida, after blowing yet another halftime lead. The difference this time is that Florida was able to pull out a victory on Friday evening, edging the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1) in overtime.

The Gators took down the Warhawks 61-56 despite UF being severely shorthanded with arguably the team’s two best players sitting out the entire contest.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Friday’s action with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when (overtime edition): Tied 54-54, redshirt senior walk-on forward Jacob Kurtz found redshirt senior center Jon Horford open in the low post after a screen down for an easy two-handed dunk. On the ensuing possession, junior guard Michael Frazier II played tremendous one-on-one defense to force a poor shot and put sophomore point guard Kasey Hill on the line with 27.7 seconds remaining. Hill made both of his shots from the charity stripe to give the Gators a four-point lead, and following a layup and missed And1 attempt on the other end, drained another to push Florida’s advantage to five with 16.5 seconds left to play. Kurtz deflected Hill’s second free throw – a miss – off a ULM player to get UF another possession. Freshman PG Chris Chiozza responded by going to the line and making 1-of-2 free throws to ice the game.

Significant stretch: Down by 12 late in the first half, Florida took off on a 10-0 run to end the opening 20 minutes. The Gators extended that scoring stretch in the second half, using a 15-0 run to outscore the Warhawks 27-6 spanning halftime. UF took a game-high nine-point lead at 44-35 but would eventually give up that advantage.

Second half head-scratcher: For the second-straight game, Florida blew a late lead by allowing ULM to score the last eight points of the second half to tie the contest 51-51 and force overtime. The Warhawks made two free throws and then drained consecutive threes, the second a wide-open look with 21 seconds remaining, to erase the Gators’ hard-earned lead and move the game into an extra period.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Short-handed No. 8 Florida survives scare from ULM, wins 61-56 in overtime

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Fastbreak: Rodriguez explodes late, sends Miami to 69-67 upset of No. 8 Florida Gators

It all came crashing down for the No. 8 Florida Gators (1-1) on Monday as the Miami Hurricanes (2-0) exploded on a late 18-1 run and ultimately used 20 points scored by a single player in the final 6:47 of the contest to defeat their hosts 69-67 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

With the loss, the Gators ended their program-record 33-game home winning streak, which was the second-longest active streak in the nation and dated back to Nov. 11, 2012. Florida also lost its 25-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents that dated back to Dec. 22, 2010.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Monday’s action with 10 quick-hitters:

It was over when: Florida and Miami were tied at 65 when redshirt junior guard Eli Carter rounded the foul line and drove to the rack, converting a layup to put the Gators ahead 67-65 with 1:03 to play. Hurricanes point guard Angel Rodriguez missed a three on the ensuing possession, but Miami got the ball back, called a timeout and set up for another shot. Rodriguez squared off with Florida sophomore PG Kasey Hill, crossed him over beyond the arc and drained a dagger three to push UM ahead with 18 seconds to play. Carter was called for an offensive charging foul (taken by Rodriguez) on UF’s next possession, Rodriguez made 1-of-2 foul shots after he was sent to the line, and an off-balance three shot by Gators junior G Michael Frazier II clanged off the rim at the buzzer.

Significant stretch: Erasing a double-digit lead Florida held most of the game, Miami erupted on an 18-1 run late in the second half – courtesy of four-straight treys, including three-in-a-row by Rodriguez – and took a three-point lead with 3:25 to play following four-straight made foul shots. A big three-pointer by Gators redshirt senior center Jon Horford ended the long Canes run and tied the game, with a second three by Horford moments later keeping UF in the contest.

Prominent players: Rodriguez made five threes – including the game winner – and scored 20 total points in the final 6:47 of the contest. He finished with a game-high 24 on 7-of-14 shooting, draining 5-of-8 from long range. For Florida, Horford made two late threes that kept the Gators in the contest following the devastating Canes run. He finished 5-of-9 from the field (3-for-6 beyond the arc, 4-for-4 from the charity stripe) for 17 points, adding seven boards to his stat line.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » The Fastbreak: Rodriguez explodes late, sends Miami to 69-67 upset of No. 8 Florida Gators

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Fastbreak: Florida works William & Mary 68-45

No. 7 Florida Gators basketball opened the 2014-15 season on Friday evening, hosting the William & Mary Tribe at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

The Gators took down the Tribe 68-45, winning their 24th consecutive season-opening game and improving to 19-0 in such games under Donovan. UF also extended its home winning streak to 33 games, the longest such streak in program history, which is also tied for the longest active streak in the nation.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Friday’s action with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: Florida held an insurmountable halftime lead but still had its share of struggles in the second period. With five minutes left to play, freshmen point guard Chris Chiozza and forward Devin Robinson hooked up on a pair of plays that pushed the Gators’ lead up to 26. Chiozza first hit Robinson for an alley-oop. On the very next possession, Chiozza took off on a fastbreak, finding Robinson under the basket for a layup that put UF ahead 63-37 with 4:45 to play. Chiozza did it all with four points (2-of-2 shooting) with three assists and two rebounds, while Robinson went 4-for-9 from the field with four boards and a late block.

Prominent player: Redshirt junior F Dorian Finney-Smith sprained his left wrist early in the contest but returned after a short trip to the locker room and wound up as Florida’s top performer on Friday. Finney-Smith scored a team-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, hitting all four of his free throws and adding five boards to boot. He netted five-straight as part of a 7-0 UF run in the second half and scored nine of the Gators’ first 13 points in the later period. He left the court late in the second half but most likely as a precaution.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Florida works William & Mary 68-45

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donovan: No. 7 Gators undeserving of ranking

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Wednesday, two days before his team opens the 2014-16 regular season against the William & Mary Tribe on Friday, Nov. 14 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

NOT EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE

Ahead of last season, Donovan chastised the Gators, going out of his way to say that Florida was nowhere near as good as advertised. Twelve months later, his attitude has not changed all that much. Is UF the seventh-best team in the country? “No, not even remotely close,” he said Wednesday.

“We’ve talked a lot about that from the perspective of… I know what those kinds of teams look like, and we’re not one of those teams,” Donovan added.

Did Donovan say the same thing last year about a team that wound up advancing to the Final Four for the first time in seven seasons? You bet. Does that mean that he recognizes his standard annual pessimism? Not one bit, because every season is different and this year’s issues are different than those that the Gators had in 2013-14.

Continue Reading » Donovan: No. 7 Gators undeserving of ranking

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Donovan displeased with five-star frosh Robinson

The transition from high school to college basketball is difficult for any player, including those hyped up with five-star ratings, but the Florida Gators and head coach Billy Donovan have been lucky in the recent past with youngsters that entered the program mature beyond their years.

That may still be the case with freshman forward Devin Robinson, one of the highest-rated high school players in the country last year, but the five-star prospect did not show that maturity on the court in Florida’s exhibition on Thursday night.

“It wasn’t even close [to what I expect]. Really poor,” said Donovan of Robinson’s performance.

“When you’re picking up the ball off the floor and shooting it, the first touch in the game is bombing up shots, that is someone who is totally focused on scoring. He needs to change his mentality in terms of what he has really got to focus on. I thought he got into the game, he played seven minutes and took six shots…he played 17 minutes and took 10 shots, and I can’t say any of them were any good.”

Continue Reading » Donovan displeased with five-star frosh Robinson

Tags: , , , ,

The Fastbreak: No. 7 Florida Gators escape Barry with a 79-70 exhibition victory

No. 7 Florida Gators basketball participated in its final tune-up for the 2014-15 season when it faced the Barry Buccaneers in an exhibition game on Thursday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

The Gators took down the Bucs 79-70, winning their 24th exhibition opener in a row and improving to 38-2-1 in such games under Donovan.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Thursday’s action with seven quick-hitters:

It was over when: With less than 90 seconds remaining, freshman point guard Chris Chiozza found redshirt junior guard Eli Carter in the corner for a wide-open three-pointer that put the Gators up 13. Carter drained it with ease and finished with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, draining 5-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc. Chiozza dished three assists and did not commit a single turnover in 14 minutes.

Prominent player: Redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith was the most consistent and effective player on the court for Florida, posting a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds while hitting 5-of-10 shots from the field, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 at the charity stripe.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » The Fastbreak: No. 7 Florida Gators escape Barry with a 79-70 exhibition victory

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 Page 1 of 4  1  2  3  4 »