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

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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

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Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. UL-Monroe – Donovan trying to turn ‘I’ and ‘me’ into ‘we’


Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Doug Bell, Jon Sundvold)
Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 108/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 8 FLORIDA GATORS ULM WARHAWKS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Keith Richard
Record: 1-1 Record: 2-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Sun Belt

Odds: Florida -21 | O/U 131

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy since the last game? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!

Story: Chris Walker primed for 2014-15 season debut on Friday

MUST-READ PRIMER: Can the Gators keep it going with a rebuilt starting five?

Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. UL-Monroe – Donovan trying to turn ‘I’ and ‘me’ into ‘we’

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Florida Gators AD Jeremy Foley: ‘We’re not getting into an arms race’ with our facilities

While in-state rivals and Southeastern Conference foes have been making substantial, multi-million dollar upgrades to their football facilities – including adding exorbitant indoor practice facilities – over recent years, the Florida Gators have stood firm that their amenities are above or on par with any team in the nation.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley took that stance again on Monday while addressing whether he agrees with some external murmuring that Florida’s facilities are no longer up to the program’s lofty standards.

“I wear orange and blue goggles a lot, and I’m certainly willing to have wide-open eyes, but I don’t agree with the assessment that our facilities have fallen behind,” explained Foley. “We judge our facilities based on [whether] they help our programs be successful. Do they make an impact on their ability to be successful? Whether that’s a weight room for football or a gymnastics practice studio, whatever have you.”

It’s not that the Gators have been lacking in making upgrades to their stadiums, locker rooms, weight rooms or multiple sport offices. Rather, Florida has been ahead of the curve in boosting its stadiums and support structures, especially for the football program.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators AD Jeremy Foley: ‘We’re not getting into an arms race’ with our facilities

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Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. Miami


Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPNU (Mark Jones, Stan Heath)
Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 136/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 8 FLORIDA GATORS MIAMI HURRICANES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Jim Larranaga
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast

Odds: Florida -8.5 | O/U 130

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!

Story: Dorian Finney-Smith suffers hairline fractures in hand, cleared to play
Notebook: Dillon Graham decides to transfer

MUST-READ PRIMER: Can the Gators keep it going with a rebuilt starting five?

Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. Miami

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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

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Gameday: No. 7 Florida Gators vs. William & Mary


Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT

TV: SEC Network (Dave O’Brien, Sean Farnham)
Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 92/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 7 FLORIDA GATORS WILLIAM & MARY TRIBE
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Tony Shaver
Record: 0-0 Record: 0-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Colonial AA

Odds: Florida -18.5 | O/U 140

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!

Story: Two Gators named 2014 Preseason All-SEC
Notebook: Florida basketball undeserving of No. 7 preseason ranking

MUST-READ PRIMER: Can the Gators keep it going with a rebuilt starting five?

Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 7 Florida Gators vs. William & Mary

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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

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