Donovan SEC Teleconference Q&A

The Gators get their bye week during SEC play a little earlier than usual this season. No one is complaining, though. Florida is dealing with nagging injuries to a few players, most notably an ankle injury to center Patric Young, and the lack of a midweek game will give the team a chance to get healthy. The nagging injuries are expected to be fine, but Young's injury has caused some concern.

OPENING STATEMENT: "The bye week for us comes early in the conference schedule. Hopefully we can use this time to get better and focus on ourselves early in the week, and then get prepared and ready to play LSU at our place on Saturday."

Q: "How would you evaluate Brad Beal's play so far this year, and what do you expect the rest of the year?"

A: "I think he has played very well. Being a freshman is always a challenge because there's ups and downs, regardless of how talented you are. He's very talented. He's eager to get better and improve. He's an accountable kid when things aren't going his way or he's struggling. He's very self-reflective in figuring what he has to do to get better. For him, the more experience he has playing, the better he gets. He's a hard working kid and a good teammate. He has a lot of intangible things you can't see by watching him play but you notice by being around him."

Q: "What is Patric Young's condition and when do you expect him at 100% after his ankle injury?"

A: "I don't know. It has been nagging him for a couple weeks now. I don't want to say it has gotten worse because that's not necessarily true. In practice, he has been laboring. He wasn't moving like he needed to move. We needed to go with a different lineup to see how he felt. He never got into the flow of the game in Columbia because he picked up two fouls early. I don't think it's anything severe or significant. Our medical people here will go to the next step in X-raying him or an MRI for precautionary. Apparently where he's sore isn't over a bone issue, more soft tissue. There's a feeling it's ankle tendonitis. I've tried to just use him in practice as he can tolerate now. We'll find out more here Tuesday or Wednesday."

Q: "How important is he to what your team does?"

A: "He adds a different element because of his size, strength and athleticism. The biggest thing he brings to the table for us is a great motor and he plays hard. I also think what happens with frontcourt guys is his conditioning and maintaining a high level of conditioning. I don't think the last couple weeks he has been able to practice with the intensity he has needed to. I've seen it before with frontcourt guys where the first thing that goes is their conditioning. We've got to make sure to help him keep a high level of conditioning. That's more my concern now."

Q: "What have you thought about Mike Rosario's transition in recent weeks? Was there a time where you sat down with him over the holidays or what's the reason for him playing well?"

A: "He really has been consistent here for about two weeks. Some of his inconsistencies were out of his control with the disk issue in his back. He sprained his ankle towards the end of the Yale game and missed some games, so there was no consistency in practice. I would say that since he has come back from his ankle, he has really strung together a week or two where he has been pretty reliable and responsible. It's added a level of trust for me as a coach with the way he's working and things he's trying to do. When he's doing that, he needs to be afforded more time to play. In the last two games against Georgia and South Carolina, he has been a positive addition coming off the bench."

Q: "What has the mentoring process with him been like?"

A: "He is a great kid. Anytime someone is hurt or not getting the opportunity to play, it's always difficult. Mike is a great kid and a competitive kid. He has a great relationship with the guys on his team. He's a team guy. He understands the big picture. He really has been good to deal with. I've enjoyed coaching him and being around him because he has a good heart, and he's a caring kid."

Q: "The turnovers have been a problem on the road for Florida but they were cut down against South Carolina. What do you attribute that to?"

A: "Our guys made better decisions. They do a lot of different things with the way they play and get out in passing lanes while randomly trapping you, but we made better decisions. We had a better awareness of taking care of the ball. Whatever the reason why we didn't do it early in the year, I don't know. We were able to get more attempts at the basket against South Carolina. It's hopefully something we can continue to get better at. It's not just on the road, but a focus at home to make good decisions and take care of the ball. We've done a decent jobs in the games here where our assist-to-turnover ratio has been fairly high.


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