Gators face road test at LSU

With a coaching change comes a new style of play. That's what No. 11 Florida is preparing for as they travel to play in Baton Rouge on Saturday afternoon. LSU always wanted to slow down the pace and play physically in the paint under former head coach Trent Johnson. First-year head coach Johnny Jones has changed that. He wants the Tigers to get up the floor and push the tempo.

"Anytime there's a coaching change in our league, there's an adjustment period that goes through," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "You're bringing a whole new philosophy and style of play. Trent Johnson was a terrific coach. They were physical and games were slowed down. They tried to pound you up front.

"They've got a physical, big frontcourt, but in terms of the pace and speed they're playing at now, it's totally different than what they played with for Trent."

The Tigers will run. They want to push the tempo and get up the floor, but they still have the size that Johnson recruited to pound teams. Senior center Andrew Del Piero stands at 7-3, 254 pounds and averages 4.9 and 3.3 rebounds. There are three others players at least 6-8.

That could play a factor against Florida's banged up frontcourt. Will Yeguete (knee tendinitis) and Erik Murphy (fractured ribs) both played hurt on Wednesday during the conference opening win over Georgia. Murphy scored 11 points but Yeguete looked a step slow at times.

"That's going to be an ongoing thing," Donovan said about the health of his frontcourt. "Those guys, I don't think will be 100-percent healthy for at least a few more weeks. Yeguete's tendinitis could be something he deals with for longer than that. There's not a lot of rest time right now."

Casey Prather earned his first start on Wednesday since February 2011 and played well. Donovan said he would need more time to think and watch film before deciding if Prather would earn another start in Baton Rouge.

Forward Shavon Coleman leads the Tigers with 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Forward Johnny O'Bryant is averaging 11.4 points and 7.5 rebounds while battling a high ankle sprain and missing two games this year. He played on Wednesday against Auburn but was still hampered by the injury.

"They're a big team up front," Donovan said. "They rebound the ball very well. Johnny O'Brien is a high energy guy."

Guards Andre Stringer (11.8 ppg), Anthony Hickey (10.9 ppg) and Charles Carmouche (10.3 ppg) provide plenty of firepower for the Tigers. They're fifth in the conference with 76 points per game.

"They're an explosive offensive team — one of the highest scoring teams in our league," Donovan said. "They shoot it. They're really good off the bounce with their guards. Obviously O'Brien up front is a McDonald's All-American. They've got a lot of really good, talented players."

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