No. 16 Florida Gators (8-2) head basketball coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Thursday, two days before his team takes on the Fresno State Bulldogs (4-5) at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL as part of the 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.
ON THE OFFENSIVE ABOUT DEFENSE
Suffice to say, Donovan is not pleased with Florida’s defense, and it his problems start with the Gators’ inability to effectively defend the three-point line. Through 10 games, UF has allowed 6.1 threes per game with teams shooting 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. In its recent three-game stretch against ranked opponents, Florida allowed teams to shoot 42.3 percent from downtown.
“Right now I think, when you look at us defensively, we’re not where we need to be or want to be. One of our challenges has been the three-point line in terms of the percentage,” he explained. “I don’t think teams here of late have made an enormous amount of three-point shots against us. But when you have teams going 7-for-14, 6-for-11, those things – that’s a problem, percentage-wise. For us, against the highest level of competition we’ve played against here so far, we’re giving up almost 40 percent from the three-point line. The overall stat sheet is a little bit deceiving, but we’ve got to do a better job there. This will be a test for us to get better because they’re going to test us from the three-point line pretty much every possession.”
Donovan was particularly disappointed by the Gators’ overall play against Memphis. UF’s assist-to-turnover ratio was abhorrent at 0.76 due to Florida coughing the ball up 17 times on the evening. The Gators are currently ranked 200th nationally in assists, averaging just 12.6 per contest.
“I didn’t think that we played to the level, to the standard that we want to play in. I’m hopeful that coming out of our game our guys can see… we got to get a lot, lot better,” he said. “I’m measuring that based on where I think we can be. … We played a really, really poor second half against Kansas; we did not pay well. I thought we were sporadic at best in the Memphis game.
“I don’t look at our team right now and sit there and say that we beat two ranked teams that we’re playing very good basketball right now. We’re not playing to the standard or level that I would expect our team to play at right now.”
He added: “There’s things to me that are disappointing because we’re dealing with older guys that know. That, to me, is a very, very fine line. You start to question as a coach, ‘How bad do you want to be great as a team?’ Because if you want to be great as a team, here are the things that need to get corrected.”
Continue Reading » 12/19: Donovan demands defense, Young steps up