When the game ended and the ceremony began, all of the Florida players stood behind their coach, not wanting to leave the floor. What happened on Saturday in the O’Connell Center meant a lot to the Florida players.
Despite the difficult season, they were able to get their head coach his historic 500th career win against Tennessee.
Dorian Finney-Smith returned from a suspension due to a violation of team rules and posted 20 points and 10 rebounds, the third double-double of the season for Florida. Eli Carter chipped in with 11 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Center Jon Horford had 10 points, four rebounds and one block.
The players were all excited about their coach’s accomplishment after the game.
Forward Dorian Finney-Smith: “It means a lot. Coach D, he does a lot behind the scenes. He’s at the gym all night, and he cares about us. For him to accomplish that, it means a lot for this team and this program.”
Guard Eli Carter: “It feels great to get this win for coach. Great accomplishment. Coach, I’m happy for him. It feels good to be the group of guys to help get it. Obviously, there’s a lot of guys before us and a lot of great players. It feels really good.”
Forward Jacob Kurtz: We’re really thankful to get it done for him. It means a lot to be a part of. Coach means a lot to everyone in the room. I can’t describe how thankful we are to get it done for him. Pretty cool moment for him to get the ovation from the crowd and everything. He deserves it.”
Center Jon Horford: “It’s an honor. It’s a testament to him and his ability to get people to work and play together, have success. I’m sure when it’s all said and done, he’s going to get 1,000.”