Franz Beard’s Basketball Confidential

During his post-game press conference Monday night after the Gators beat Lynn University in their final exhibition game before their regular season opener against North Dakota State Friday (8 p.m., Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Sun Sports TV), Billy Donovan said he’s looking for sophomores Dan Werner and Jonathon Mitchell to have that burning need to “figure things out” so they can get their games straightened out. Both Werner and Mitchell have begun the season slowly, almost tentatively on offense and Donovan feels it is time for both of them to dig deep and find the answers within.

There is only so much coaching that you can do to get a kid out of a slump or a bad habit. You reach a point where the kid has to decide that this is what he wants to do before you see the changes that are necessary. Donovan wants to see Werner and Mitchell decide it’s time to figure things out to the point that they can’t rest until they’ve got an answer.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.