Gators want better effort against Texas A&M

When Florida and Texas A&M met the first time, Billy Donovan didn’t see his team playing with the necessary energy level.

Texas A&M forward Kourtney Roberson led the Aggies with 20 points and added six rebounds, but it didn’t come in the way big men typically score. The Aggies (20-8, 11-5 SEC) didn’t run plays for him and try to let him work with his back to the basket as much. Instead, he simply outworked Florida to get his points.

Roberson ran up and down the floor, beating the Gators (14-15, 7-9 SEC) with his energy and getting points before Florida could get set on defense.

“They outran our frontcourt on a lot of plays,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “We got broken down on some penetration for some dump downs to those guys. They sealed against our zone. It wasn’t so much what you’d think where they threw him the ball and he caught it and made post moves.

“A lot of it, to be honest with you, was him outworking our team. That’s where he scored his points. He had a great game. He has had a great year for A&M and has done it with some effort.”

Add in 16 points and six rebounds from Jalen Jones and 14 points from Danuel House, and it took a career-high 22 points for Eli Carter in orange and blue plus a late run from Florida to make the game close. The Aggies escaped with a one-point win that served as the Gators’ fourth straight loss.

Things are more positive for the Gators now, coming off a 17-point win over Tennessee that was the 500th career win for Donovan. Tuesday’s game will be a much bigger challenge.

Florida will head into the game likely without guard Michael Frazier, who is still dealing with a high ankle injury suffered against Kentucky on February 7.

“I would say he’s probably not playing,” Donovan said. “He hasn’t practiced at all. He tries to do some shooting, but he’s not cleared for practice at all. I don’t anticipate him playing tomorrow unless I get some miraculous diagnosis that says he’s cleared to play. I don’t envision that happening.”

Donovan said Frazier looks good while running in a straight line, but it’s still the starting and stopping that causes him problems.

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