Boynton Takes Blame for Mistake

Florida head coach Billy Donovan has spoke all season about his team's lack of maturity. Whether on the court or off it, the inexperience has hurt the Gators in different areas. That was no more evident than on Sunday when Kenny Boynton started the game against Kentucky on the bench for being late to a team meeting. Boynton owned up to his mistake on Monday.

"I'm old enough to take responsibility for myself in which I shouldn't have been late to the meeting," Kenny Boynton said. "I was up, but I just happened to be late. I brushed my teeth and stuff and I just kind of lost track of time and I didn't know time had crept up on me so fast."

Donovan moved sophomore Scottie Wilbekin into the starting lineup with Boynton on the bench. Boynton only got into the game for 25 minutes, his second fewest of the season, with the only lower total coming in his 22 minutes played in a 45-point win over Jacksonville earlier this season.

In that game against the Dolphins, Boynton scored 22 points. In his 25 minutes against Kentucky on Sunday, Boynton managed just seven points, his lowest of the season.

The junior guard didn't get into the game until the 14:11 mark in the first half.

"It felt real long," Boynton said. "It felt very long. I wanted to be out there but I ended up getting in about 15 minutes to go."

Boynton was only ten minutes late to the meeting, but as Donovan proved on Sunday, he makes timeliness an important issue for his players.

Donovan said both after the game and at his Monday morning press conference that he doesn't have issues with Boynton. It's more about setting the example for younger players on the team.

"I think a lot of times you have players that are younger that are looking at what's tolerated and what's not tolerated," Donovan said. "So, if nothing is done, 'Well, I guess it's no big deal if I come 15 minutes late or 20 minutes late.' I think it sets a bad precedent there."

More importantly, it's about maturity that hasn't been evident on the team all season.

"There's also some different things where there has to be an awareness from inside our team, like somebody getting to be there 10 minutes earlier and if they're not there, a player runs and grabs him and makes sure he's where he needs to be," Donovan said. "And it's not like everybody is responsible for themselves.

"I think the one thing of being inside of a team, whether it's on defense whether it's on offense, there's always a level of sacrifice you have to always try and help the next guy. I still think the same thing is true even off the court."

Donovan has said since the beginning of the year that the maturity level isn't where it needs to be. The players have gone back and forth with their feelings whether agreeing with him or not, but Boynton said on Monday that he sees where Donovan is coming from.

"I think at times, yeah, I agree with him," Boynton said. "I think we definitely should come out and be a more consistent team in practice. It's been a thing all year in which we've had a couple bad practices but I think everyone realizes that we could lose. We're on a three-game losing streak so we should take this week serious."

DIFFICULTY WITH BYE: Every team is fighting for a bye in the SEC Tournament, but it doesn't make preparation a breeze. Florida will have four days of practice before playing on Friday at 3:30 p.m. EST. The Gators won't know their opponent until Thursday night.

They'll play the winner of South Carolina and Alabama—two teams with different styles.

"It's always difficult when you have a bye and you don't know who you're playing until the day before you're actually playing in the game," Donovan said. "Because it is within our league there is some familiarity from playing South Carolina twice and then also having had a chance to play Alabama as well. The first part of this week is to get prepared, ourselves to get better and then I think the second part of that is toward the middle to end of the week start getting things looking over things both for South Carolina and Alabama just to make sure that our guys have just been refreshed a little bit on both teams.

"We probably won't give (the Florida players) a whole bunch on both teams. We'll try to just get to the meat and potatoes of what we're going to have to do. There are two totally different styles of play, two totally different teams and teams that do certainly a lot of different things so we'll have to break that down in terms of what we do in practice."

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