Donovan Pushing for Maturity

Billy Donovan has known all season that missed shots will happen. For a team dependent on making three-pointers, Donovan wants his team to focus on doing the other parts of the game when they aren't. Florida didn't do that Tuesday at Kentucky, and the result was a blowout. The Florida head coach is now hoping that learning experience got the team's attention.

"That's going to happen," Donovan said about his team missing shots. "You're going to have games where you don't shoot the ball well. Some of that is had to do with Kentucky's defense, and some of it had to do with we didn't make shots. We had good looks and shots that we needed to make a few of. That's always going to be part of the game."

Florida is still learning how to respond when that does happen. When the shots didn't fall on Tuesday, frustration started to set in. It soon started to creep into the defensive effort on the floor. The Gators lost their focus when Kentucky had the ball, and the game soon fell out of reach.

"There has to be better resiliency in those situations," Donovan said. "It's a lot easier playing when everything is going in the basket. There's no question there has to be a real tough, mental part of the game that pushes through it to keep us in the game. That's the thing I was most disappointed about. Things weren't going well on the offensive end of the floor."

Donovan pointed to tough road games earlier in the season, at Ohio State and Syracuse, where the Gators fell behind early but maintained their composure to fight back into the game. He said the same "mental resiliency and toughness" wasn't there when Florida played in Lexington.

Part of it comes from players looking only at their own game. Donovan said there weren't negative intentions about it, but some players were focusing only on their own jobs. He pointed to one instance where Florida was inbounding the ball in its own back court, and despite Kentucky running its full court press, Florida players were standing around watching each other try to get open.

"We went into the game with fractured minds," Donovan said. "It's nothing to do with adversity or anything else. Each guy wanted to do his part and play well. You're palying the game as a group of individuals, not with bad intentions, but you have to have five guys unified with what is going on. I didn't feel that (Tuesday)."

YOUNG STILL SLIDING: Patric Young started his second consecutive game at Kentucky and scored 12 points while going 5-10 from the field. His rebounding has become an issue since returning from the injury. Young pulled down just four rebounds against the Wildcats, but Donovan isn't worried about his sophomore center.

"Part of the reason his rebounding numbers are down is he has been in foul trouble," Donovan said. "When he's not on the floor his normal allotment of minutes, his numbers will suffer from that. He isn't playing what he would normally play."

DISAPPEARANCE OF LARSON: Cody Larson saw time off the Florida bench in the non-conference schedule, but those minutes haven't happened in recent games. He hasn't played since Florida played at Ole Miss, and he has seen the floor in just five of nine conference games so far.

"Cody keeps getting better," Donovan said. "Unless I can get him in the flow, sometimes I feel like I'm throwing him in there. I might be setting him up for failure a little bit. I might need to find a way to plug him in there sooner than we need. When Murphy is not in foul trouble, it adds a different element to us offensively. Cody doesn't bring that element. Cody needs to be playing as a backup to Patric."

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