The Gators head home for the holidays, but following a lethargic 67-61 loss to Kansas State, a disappointed Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan suggested some of his players may have taken an early vacation.
“I thought we were out hustled, out worked. And we had a lot of guys tonight that didn’t even show up and play,” Donovan lamented on the Gator IMG Sports Network after the game. “That was disappointing”.
The Gators conceded the most points it has all season, allowing 67 to the Wildcats, a tally Donovan attributed to defensive breakdowns and lapses, as well as simply not executing the game plan.
“We didn’t really do anything that we talked doing the last two days,” Donovan said. “I don’t think we defended real well, though the stat sheet says we held them to 41 percent. We didn’t guard the three-point line very well, which we talked about being a major concern.”
Though frustrated by his typically stellar defense, Donovan reserved his harshest criticism for his team’s offense.
“Offensively, we made some really poor decisions. I thought outside of Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young — they were really the only two guys who gave us a sound game on offense,” he said.
Young finished with a team high 19 points, on a very efficient 8 of 11 shooting performance. Though Florida began the second half making concerted effort to get more interior looks, Coach Donovan thought the plan was undermined by poor guard play.
“Our guards are driving the ball down the lane, and we have post players that are open and perimeter guys that are open — and our guards insist on taking these running, floating shots down the lane,” a frustrated Donovan said.
Statistically, Donovan has plenty of reason to be frustrated, revealing his staff has charted such shots.
“Our guards are shooting — on the year, on those shots — over out-stretched big man’s arms, about 12 percent,” he said.
Only one game removed from what may have been his best game in a Gators uniform, guard Mike Rosario again found himself on the critical end of his coach’s analysis.
“I thought Mike Rosario had the opportunity to get down the lane and make the game so much easier for everyone else, but he insisted on trying to score — and it wasn’t there,” Donovan said of Rosario’s 1 for 9 outing.
Few players escaped Donovan’s post game critique, including Eric Murphy, and an atypically less active Will Yeguete.
“Our front court of Eric Murphy and Will Yeguete combined for a total of one rebound in the first half,” Donovan said. “You just can’t play against a great offensive rebounding team and have the kind of effort we had and be able to win the game.”