Game Ten for Donovan, Gators

The Florida Gators will try to rebound from its loss to Syracuse Saturday evening in South Florida when the Gators take on Richmond. The Gators enter the game with an 8-1 record while the Spiders are 7-3. Richmond is coming off consecutive losses to VCU and South Florida. They led in both contests but faded down the stretch.

Richmond is led by the backcourt duo of Kevin Anderson (16.8) and David Gonzalvez (13.0) which produces almost 20 points a night. All five Richmond starters average at least 8.3 points a game, but they get little from the bench most nights. The poor production off the bench is a big reason why this team had faded down the stretch in several games including some wins. They had to hold on against Mississippi State and Missouri, but against South Carolina they saw the Gamecocks end the game on a 24-6 run.

Richmond is an offensively challenged team which has failed to score 70 points in any of its last six games. They run the Princeton style of offense with a lot of screening and back cuts. Defensively it's a match-up zone where they get as physical as the officials will let them get in the backcourt.

The Gators, on the other hand are coming off a loss to Syracuse (85-73) the last time out and are also coming off final exams week at the University of Florida. Donovan is hoping his team will be able to cut down on turnovers. He's particularly concerned about veteran forwards Dan Werner and Chandler Parsons who are a combined minus-five in assist/turnover differential when Donovan believes they should be much better than that.

The game in Sunrise also serves as a homecoming for Gator sophomore Ray Shipman and freshman Kenny Boynton. Shipman played at Monsignor Pace High school in Miami while Boynton competed for American Heritage School in Plantation.

The game will be played at 6:30 in the Bank Atlantic Center in Broward County. You'll see it on Sun Sports with Mark Wise joining me for the call.

Bill Donovan shared his thoughts on getting through finals week and preparing for the Richmond Spiders.


On dealing with finals week:

"This is a hard time right now. The one thing is that there's an emotional grind and a lot of emotional factors that go into it. The first thing is when you have everybody on campus going home for the Christmas holidays and it becomes a ghost town a little bit. That's a different feeling. I think coming off the grind mentally of having exams and getting through the exams mentally is a grind. (You also are) considering the fact that we did, leading up the Syracuse game have about eight games in 17 days. This has been time where you can try to get better in practice, but at the same time you're adjusting practice times before of their exam schedules. It's hard, and I try to work it so they're getting their academic work and they're tutoring in and they have enough time to prepare and do what they have to do for the finals."

On assessing the Richmond Spiders:

"They are a very good team with a different style of play than we've seen all season long. (They play a) match-up zone and a Princeton style of offense. They have terrific personnel inside their offense with a three point shooter at all five spots. (They have a) tremendous back court and are a team that's extremely physical on the defensive end of the floor. They have great wins over Mississippi State and Missouri. I would say maybe outside of Syracuse this team is as good as anyone we've played up to this point."


The Gators are hoping to start shooting the ball better. Florida's backcourt of Erving Walker (.361) and Kenny Boynton (.383) are both shooting below 40 percent from the field. In addition to improving their turnover problems the Gators also need to battle better on the boards after getting beaten up by Syracuse the last time out.

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