Carried by the Three

On the night that Billy Donovan won his 400th career game as a head coach, the Gators did it in true Donovan style— they were on fire from behind the three-point line. That is becoming a theme in the early parts of the season, as the Gators have hit double-digit threes in all six games so far. Monday night's 96-70 win over Stetson was helped by 14 three-pointers from five different players.

"The biggest difference in the game was the three-point line," Donovan said on his post game radio show. "We made 14 to (Stetson's) one. That was the difference. If this were a game where they got it going from behind the three-point line, we would've been in for a dogfight. They're capable of doing it and making threes."

Brad Beal led the way with five three-pointers, 22 points and ten rebounds for the second double-double of his freshman season. Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton each hit three shots from long distance each as the Gators went 14-for-35 (40%) from behind the three-point line.

As they've done a few times this season, Donovan opened the second half by drawing up ways for Florida to drop the ball into the post for Patric Young.

"I tried to get Patric more involved, but it's hard against zone when teams are sliding in like that and double teaming him and forcing us to shoot the ball a little bit," Donovan said. "Patric went against a lot of double coverage, which led to a lot of three-point shots."

The statistical line for Kenny Boynton wasn't pretty. The junior had 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting from the field and 3-for-8 from behind the three-point line. It was obvious from the start that his shot wasn't as sharp as in recent games, and in the past, that might have kept Boynton from being a factor in the game.

Not this year.

Boynton made his presence felt on the defensive end and by helping facilitate the Florida offense.

"If you look at Kenny Boynton's line, 4-for-12, that would've been his line the last two years if he just didn't shoot it well," Donovan said. "With the way he is defending and passing, he has made some great strides and growth. I'm really proud of him because there are going to be games where he just doesn't shoot it well. He had good looks tonight that just didn't go down. He's doing other things that are helping our team."

Will Yeguete made the second start of his career and recorded his first double-double. The sophomore had ten points and eleven rebounds in 26 minutes on the court. With Erik Murphy's torn meniscus keeping him out for at least a couple of weeks, Donovan needs Yeguete to stay consistent and out of foul trouble.

"We've got to work on his layups," Donovan said. "He had a tough time around the rim there. He does rebound the ball and is athletic. He's terrific at the front of the press."

The Gators will use the rest of the week to prepare for a test at No. 3 Syracuse.

"A lot to get prepared for," Donovan said of the game. "We had a chance to face some zone tonight, and that'll be good facing Syracuse. It's a hostile environment, and the last one we played at was Ohio State. That was great. This will be 33,000 people, and it's a special place to play. I know our guys are excited to play one of the best teams in the country."

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