Entering his 17th year with the Gators, coach Billy Donovan addressed his team’s rugged non-conference schedule and high expectations this season coming off a second straight Elite Eight berth last March.
Florida head coach Billy Donovan
On junior guard Scottie Wilbekin’s progression:
“I think the normal tendency is when you lose a player like Erving Walker, who was a three‐year starter, and kind of was the face of our program at the point‐guard spot, and now Scottie comes in, would be to compare him to Erving, or even is he doing the same things Erving did? He’s totally different than Erving and I think what I need out of Scottie is for Scottie to be Scottie, be who he is. I think he is one of the best defenders in our league. He has two years of good, quality minutes under his belt. He has been in some key situations, but now a bigger role is going to fall on his shoulders. I still think, I have a lot of confidence [in Scottie]; he’s tough, he’s competitive, and I think he can lead from back there. Maybe he doesn’t shoot the ball with the range that [Erving] Walker did, but he’s gotten better offensively, and certainly he gives us a lot more size and height and athleticism back there at the point guard position.”
On Coach Donovan’s thoughts on adding Missouri and Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference:
“I think it’s really good. Obviously, with the expansion going on all around the country in college basketball and in college football, and what’s going on with these conferences, you are always trying to make yourself better. Also, I think with A&M, we get a chance to play them last year, in December, Missouri was in our bracket for the NCAA Tournament – would have played them in the second round game – so, I have at least a little bit of an up‐close look of both those two schools and I think that both [Texas A&M and Missouri] as it relates to the academic part and the athletic part is going to be a great addition to our conference and hopefully it will be very beneficial for them as well.
Courtesy of SEC Digital Network