Frazier, Yeguete getting comfortable

The process of being completely healthy might've looked like it ended for No. 11 Florida on Saturday when the Gators had all their players available, but head coach Billy Donovan knows that isn't the case. Michael Frazier (concussion) and Will Yeguete (knee) were both far from normal against Alabama. Donovan tried to get them time on the floor and will continue to do so in the future.

Will Yeguete checked into the game to a rousing ovation from the crowd. He later told Billy Donovan that he was "petrified" to be back on the floor because of the uncertainty. He hadn't played in front of the home fans in over a month. The hesitancy was easy to see. Yeguete grabbed just one rebound in 11 minutes on the floor.

"I think he was really nervous, uptight, concerned," Donovan said. "I don't think it was about his knee. I just don't think he had played. He basically had a little bit of practice on Thursday, a good portion of practice on Friday. He's got two practices under his belt. We were playing for first place.

"The crowd is excited and he probably feels like, ‘Oh my God. The weight of the world is on my shoulders here.' He just wasn't himself. I think he'll get back to that, where he needs to get to."

Michael Frazier didn't see much action because of a back issue that crept up in practice. He returned to practice on Wednesday before the Alabama game but didn't last long before he was carried off the court with back spasms. He didn't practice Thursday and did some non-contact workouts on Friday with the team trainers.

The lack of practice time made it hard for him to get in the rhythm of the game on Saturday. Frazier got six minutes on the court, but it was easy to see that he wasn't back to his pre-concussion form.

"Between the concussion and lack of practicing, he wasn't prepared to play," Donovan said. "That's why I didn't play him in the second half. We weren't getting enough out of him, and probably rightfully so, he probably wasn't ready to play. But I think you had to throw him in there just to try to see what he could do."

With Frazier and Yeguete now back and expected to get more comfortable every game, it could mean Casey Prather slides into more minutes as the small forward. When the two were injured, Prather slid into playing power forward and even center.

On Saturday, the Gators went on their big run to take the lead and eventually secure the win with Prather at small forward.

"I feel comfortable that he understands all the positions," Donovan said. "But that could happen. I can't say I went into the game against Alabama with the mindset of playing him at the small forward spot."

It should continue to happen as the Gators get back to where they were before injuries.

IMPROVING BALL MOVEMENT: The Gators have struggled from behind the three-point line in recent games, and Billy Donovan knows exactly the reason — ball movement.

"Absolutely, no question," Donovan said. "It's a 100 percent (the issue)."

Florida was stagnant with the ball on Saturday against Alabama, and Donovan was quick to point out after the game that his team isn't talented enough to do that. There isn't a player on the team that can create a good shot at will. For the Gators to be effective on offense, they have to be unselfish and pass the ball to create open shots.

When that happens, the three-point percentage can sky rocket. The Gators are shooting 20% (6-30) from behind the arc over the last two games because they aren't getting good attempts.

"When you see us with a low number of assists, you see guys getting missed," Donovan said. "It's not a selfish missing, where they just don't want to throw the ball. It's a recognition of what's going on."

The tape showed plenty of times where Florida players missed the open man. Donovan estimated five more open three-pointers for Erik Murphy if he saw the correct opening on the court.

"There's no question that our 3-point shooting is definitely correlated to us moving better on the perimeter and giving our guards outlets for better looks where we can make shots."


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