Good News for Murphy

Florida head coach Billy Donovan received news that was better than expected on forward Erik Murphy. After thinking the junior forward tore his meniscus and would miss a few weeks, Donovan said Wednesday that Murphy simply has a bone bruise on his knee. It's possible that the junior will return when the Gators host Arizona on Wednesday.

"He's not playing against Syracuse," Donovan said. "Is there a possibility he could play next week (on Wednesday) against Arizona? That could be a possibility. A lot is going to be how he responds."

Murphy banged knees in practice last Thursday and experienced swelling and discomfort that night. Tests showed a torn meniscus last week, but doctors compared it to an x-ray done when Murphy was a sophomore in high school. They realized Murphy suffered a subtle tear to his meniscus as a sophomore in high school, and that the injury he suffered last week was simply a bruise.

Once that bruising goes down, he should be good to return. Donovan said the typical recovery time for a bone bruise in the knee is 10-14 days, and when he spoke to the media on Wednesday, that was the seventh day since the injury.

REBOUNDING IMPROVES: Donovan has admitted since practice started the Gators don't have the ideal size. That hasn't stopped them from rebounding. Florida has outrebounded its opponent in all six games this season. Center Patric Young advanced his game in the offseason, but he isn't the reason for dominating the glass.

The Florida guards have bought in to the necessity of them crashing the glass for rebounds. Brad Beal has secured two double-doubles, while Mike Rosario grabbed seven rebounds in one game and is going actively for rebounds. Undersized point guard Erving Walker is even averaging 4.3 rebounds per game.

"That's what we need to happen," Donovan said. "It can't be just Patric, Will Yeguete and our frontcourt guys to get 15 rebounds a piece. We've got to get back in there."

The rebounding looked like it took a step backwards against Stetson, as the Hatters were winning on the boards and with loose balls at halftime. In the second half, the Gators took back their dominance on the glass.

Yeguete has been a big help with that. With Murphy's injury, Yeguete stepped into the starting lineup the last two games and had his first career double-double against Stetson Monday with ten points and eleven rebounds.

"He did a lot of little things," Donovan said. "He was physical, did a lot of little things and could rebound in traffic. That's who he was in high school. He understands defense and positioning."

Yeguete's importance increases against a physical Syracuse team Friday night that starts three players 6-7 or taller.

When the Gators go to their four-guard lineup, Donovan will get his first look at how the team rebounds against a better opponent. Florida didn't play much in a four-guard set at Ohio State, and this will be the toughest test for that lineup since it was implemented.

"We've played some four guards lineups, but this will be the first time we will have faced a team with some length being limited across our front line," Donovan said. "The challenge now becomes greater when we have four guards out there, can we still rebound the ball?"

The players know it will take a special effort to come out victorious on the glass.

"It's going to take a team effort," Florida guard Kenny Boynton said. "We've got to box out, that'll be our biggest thing. I saw (Syracuse's) last game, and they're a big team, so everybody on our team has to box out."

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