Florida Prepares for Tough Road Test

Fayetteville isn't a place opponents like to see on their schedule, especially this season. Arkansas has won all 17 of its home games this season, including five conference games. The No. 12 Gators are 3-5 in road games this season and know they'll have to withstand the Razorbacks' runs to come out with a win on Saturday.

"There's no question their team feeds off being at home," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said on Friday before his team plays at Arkansas on Saturday at 6 p.m. "For any team, the comfort of playing at home is always there. They clearly have been a terrific team at home.

"If you look at their stats, there's a huge difference in the way they shoot the ball at home, the way they defend at home and the way they turn you over at home. The comfort of that building, the crowd and the environment all play a role in that."

The recipe for Arkansas' success at home is simple. They use a full court press to create pressure on their opponents. When they do that at home, the crowd behind them gives the team energy and causes problems for the visiting team, similar to the success Florida's press experiences in the O'Connell Center.

Once they create turnovers in the press and get the crowd involved, it can sometimes snowball for opponents.

Donovan has spent this week of practice preaching to his team about what to do when that happens. Turnovers have been an issue for the Gators on the road this season, so if they happen now, Donovan wants his team to have a short memory and focus on the next play.

"They feed off creating turnovers, energy plays and hustle plays," Donovan said of Arkansas. "They feed off getting on runs if you turn it over a few times, they'll get it out and hit some shots to go on a run. Our guys have to understand in this game, it'll be a game played in transition. There will be runs both ways. You have to understand how to shut down a run and stop a run, but you also have to handle when you're on your own personal run."

When Florida goes on those runs, Donovan doesn't want them to get too excited. If they try to do too much, the Gators can play right into what Arkansas wants and use the full court press to start a run of their own. Donovan has been preaching smart shots, passes and knowledge of when to throw the ball inside when Florida is playing well.

Arkansas' press is helping the Razorbacks create 17.1 turnovers per game. The Gators want to turn every game into an up-and-down affair, and beating the press can help them do that.

"They press pretty much the whole game I think," Florida forward Erik Murphy said. "It can (play to the team's strengths) as long as we handle it well. We've been working on it in practice. When the game comes, we've got to make sure we handle that."

INJURY UPDATE: Sophomore forward Will Yeguete (concussion) was cleared to practice on Friday after passing his tests to do so. Donovan said the team will be cautious and continue checking on him until Saturday's game. He hasn't yet been cleared to play in the game, but they will continue to monitor him.

"If it continues on this path, he could be okay, but he still isn't cleared," Donovan said. "As it relates to me playing him or not playing him, that will always be predicated on the medical team and what they feel."

Mike Rosario (hip pointer) was expected to practice on Friday, but Donovan will determine his playing time on Saturday. His health has improved since the Alabama game but Rosario's conditioning is the concern.

"I think it would be wishful thinking on my part to think going in here that this guy to play and be involved in the game, but he would be available to play if he can continue to play well in practice today."

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