Fifth year senior guard Mike Rosario has two sides to him when it comes to playing basketball, one side is focused side and the other, well not not so focused.
Having those split personalities is something that triggers Rosario to have a great game, or a bad game, all depending on the side he brings to the court any given night.
On Friday night when the Gators took on Northwestern State, Rosario had a bad night, he came out unfocused and found himself lost on the floor.
“Mike is not a selfish guy, he’s unselfish,” Billy Donovan said. “But there are times with Mike, where he can come not focused, he cannot be accountable, he cannot be responsible in terms of doing the things that he needs to do.”
But other times, Rosario is a guy that, as we all saw on Sunday, can come out focused and be a force to be reckoned with on the court. Rosario took over Sunday’s win over Minnesota with an impressive 25 point performance.
“Mike just needs to come with that focus all the time and being tight and intense,” Donovan said. “And when he’s like that, he’s really, really good. I think I’ve tried to hold him to that standard because he’s not that great of a player when he doesn’t play that way. “
For Rosario, having a game like he did on Sunday and being able to revenge the mistakes he made in previous outings comes as a blessing to him
“I just felt that in the first game I wasn’t on edge and coach expects a lot out of me, being a fifth year senior. I just felt that coming into that first game I wasn’t doing my job,” Rosario said. “I felt that I let my team down by not doing that the first game. So I was beating myself up about it and I was happy to come out today and get the job done.”
One of the things that sticks out for Donovan is even when he benches Rosario for his bad play, the senior finds a way to stay involved in the game.
“I remember the Vanderbilt game at home, the last home game of the year was his senior night, and he wasn’t playing well,” Donovan said. “ We were in kind of a dog fight with Vanderbilt there and I sat him and he’s on the benches he’s cheering, he’s into the game, he doesn’t pout, he doesn’t do anything that’s going to disrupt the team.”
Sometimes when you find a player like Rosario who has his coach on his back a lot, you will find that players don’t like being coached.
But that is the opposite for Rosario as Donovan praises him for allowing him to continue to coach him up both on and off the court.
“The one thing I appreciate, more than anything, is Mike lets me coach him.” Donovan said. “He let’s me coach him. But I’m on him all the time. A lot. Because I want him to be the best he can be on and off the floor.”
Donovan has succeeded with helping Rosario become a good player on the court as he was a second team All-SEC player this year.
But the place Donovan has succeed even more with Rosario is the off the court stuff, as Rosario is a guy who does countless community services.
“We try to do some things community service‑wise with our guys, whether it be a children’s hospital or homeless shelter,” Donovan said. “I’ve never been around anybody on our team, or over the years that I’ve been there, that is more engaging with young kids or people that are less fortunate. I mean, it’s unbelievable watching him carry on conversations. He has an incredible part about him that’s really unique and special. He’s a great kid. I love coaching him, I love being around him, because he’s an affectionate, loving kid.”