12/19: Florida post-game – Rosario, Boynton

No. 8/9 Florida Gators basketball (8-1) throttled the Southeastern Louisiana Lions (1-8) on Wednesday night in Gainesville, FL. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media and shared some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» After only giving up 26 or more points in a single half twice in the team’s first 14 halves of the season, Florida has allowed three-straight halves to hit or eclipse that mark including two against Arizona (29, 36) and one on Wednesday (26).
» The Gators are now 33-2 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game.
» Florida held Southeastern Louisiana scoreless for the first 7:02 of the second half.
» The Gators registered 20 assists on 28 made baskets and turned the ball over just eight times on the evening.
» Florida won the rebounding margin 40-30 and doubled up the visitors by outscoring them in the paint 30-14.
» Wednesday marked the sixth time in the last nine games that the Gators held an opponent under 50 points.

PLAYER NOTES

» Redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario put together an impressive performance for the second-straight game, scoring a game-high 20 points (the most in his Florida career) on 8-of-13 shooting (4-of-8 from downtown) with a team-high six rebounds and four assists. Rosario is 19-of-31 from the field and 8-of-14 from three over the last three games.
» Senior G Kenny Boynton is on the other end of the spectrum from Rosario right now. He followed up one of the worst shooting nights of his career with an equally bad performance Wednesday, going 1-for-7 from beyond the arc. He is now 9-for-40 on field goals and 3-for-27 on triples over the last four games.
» Junior center Patric Young was the only other player to score in double figures, posting 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting with five boards, two steals and a block.
» Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin had a great all-around game, hitting 3-of-6 treys for nine points with six rebounds, four dimes, a steal and a swat. He is 6-of-9 from beyond the arc over the last two games.

ROSARIO HOT; BOYNTON NOT

Donovan denied Wednesday that he has been overly critical of Rosario in the past even if some of his comments last season and early this year have pointed out fatal flaws that existed and are sometimes still present in his game. Instead, Donovan noted that he was simply being honest when asked why Rosario was not seeing more court time in the past. All of that has changed now because the player is finally showing the coach what he expected from day one.

“He’s much more disciplined. He’s much more responsible. He’s much more accountable. I feel like I know what I’m getting from him day-to-day,” Donovan said. “I think that’s the most difficult thing to deal with as a coach is when you have a talented player that you don’t know who’s showing up or who you’re going to get day-to-day. And that’s who he was a year ago. To his credit, I think he’s kind of put it together where he’s become more responsible, reliable, accountable and because of it I think he’s playing very well.”

Rosario missed a number of practices last season, claiming he was unable to go due to various ailments. Donovan poked fun at him before games began this year, saying that his daughter could have played through some of the things that kept Rosario out. This year, Rosario has practiced every single day and has come to each one ready and prepared to play hard and do the right things.

Read what Donovan had to say and see much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » 12/19: Florida post-game – Rosario, Boynton

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Rosario’s hot hand helps Gators cage Lions

Seventeen first-half points from redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario helped the No. 8/9 Florida Gators (8-1) jump out to an early lead and put together a dominant 82-43 victory over the Southeastern Louisiana Lions (1-8) on Wednesday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Rosario finished the game with 20 points, the most he has scored in his two years as an active player with the Gators. He went 8-for-13 from the field and 4-for-8 from downtown while grabbing a team-high six rebounds and dishing four assists.

Both teams played sloppily to begin the contest with Florida committing three early turnovers and finding itself up just four points with eight minutes having ticked off the clock. A quick 9-0 run capped by a three-pointer from junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin fronted the Gators a 23-10 lead even though the team made just three of its first 11 attempts from beyond the arc.

Rosario took over a few minutes later, scoring 10-straight points as part of a 12-1 run that put Florida ahead 37-19 with 3:40 left in the first half.

After going into the break with 17-point advantage, the Gators scored seven-straight points to increase their lead to 24 while playing stifling defense and holding the Lions scoreless for the first 7:02 of the second half.

A pair of strong one-handed dunks in transition by juniors center Patric Young and forward Casey Prather got the crowd out of its seats as the game neared completion and Florida jumped ahead of Southeastern Louisiana by 31.

Young, who made five of his seven shots and added five boards, finished with 10 points and was the only other Gators player to score in double figures. Wilbekin made three triples for nine points to go along with six rebounds and four dimes. Senior guard Kenny Boynton missed his first six five shots from the field, going 1-for-7 for seven points with a team-high five assists and four boards.

UF won the rebounding battle 40-30, registered 20 assists on 28 made baskets, scored 16 points on turnovers and bested Southeastern Louisiana 30-14 in the paint. The Gators held an opponent under 50 points for the sixth time in the last nine games.

Florida will jump back on the road for its next game as it takes on Kansas State in Kansas City, MO on Saturday. The game will air live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.

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