Donovan Unhappy With Gators' Energy

Billy Donovan tried to give his team an easy week of practice. After the struggles that came in the first half against Auburn on Tuesday, Donovan chalked it up to mental fatigue from the grind of the long season. He didn't know what to blame for Saturday's lack of effort against Georgia. Donovan was unhappy with his team's passion and energy in a 76-62 loss at Georgia.

"What we tried to do for our guys was take Wednesday off," Donovan said on his post game radio show. "Thursday just really have a day of ‘how do we move forward without Will Yeguete' and move some guys to different places. We really didn't do anything physically at all because Georgia is a team we have seen and our guys are familiar with."

It didn't look like it once the ball was tipped in Athens. Georgia shut down the Gators offense early and held off a late Florida run to secure the win. The Florida defense gave Georgia good looks and the offense was sloppy while shots weren't falling. Georgia won the fast break points 14-0 and outscored Florida 38-26 in the paint. The Gators never held a lead on Saturday.

"We should have had more than plenty in the tank today, and it's hard and I think anytime you are a coach, and you hate to say this sometimes, but I question the passion: just the passion to play and to compete and what goes in it," Donovan said. "Are we willing to take the hard road to get a road victory?

"We wanted to take a little bit of an easier road and a team in Georgia that was 3-and-10 in the league, a team last in the league in offensive field goal percentage, shoots 53 percent against us and we shoot 36 percent and are just not ready enough to play and not passionate enough to play. I think from my standpoint that's my job to do that, but also it gets to a point where you are pulling and pleading for guys to play hard and play with passion. I think that you either have a passion inside you or you don't."

With Will Yeguete out for the season, Donovan wanted to see his team create some presence inside. Patric Young scored eight points and had 11 rebounds while Casey Prather, Erik Murphy and Cody Larson combined for just four points.

Shots weren't falling in the paint, but Donovan was upset with how his guards handled that by not trying to facilitate the offense with the ball in their hands.

"I didn't think our guards did a very good job at all driving the ball down the lane, kicking it out, extra passing and ball movement," Donovan said. "We could've had anything we wanted offensively all night long, but we wanted to take an easy road. We didn't wait on screens.

"They were just so much more on edge, sharper, more physical and ready. That's what I'm supposed to do. For whatever reason, I'm not doing a good enough job right now getting those guys prepared to play."

There weren't many bright spots for the Gators, but the play of Brad Beal continued to be one of them. The freshman scored 19 points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

"He was a very bright spot for our team," Donovan said. "He was out there trying to give his all. He understands that we're on the road and have to go. He did some really good things, but it's a team. You can't have just one guy doing it."


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