Donovan Discusses Shipman's Minutes

Sunday in Lexington, Florida got something it had not gotten much of in SEC play. Ray Shipman came off the bench and scored nine points in just eight minutes in the first half and helped the Gators close an 18-point deficit to just 10. However, despite that productivity, Shipman spent 19 minutes on the bench during the second half of the loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.

Florida coach Billy Donovan has dealt with a lack of depth in the back court all season, and while Ray Shipman is not a pure guard, he's also the best available option to provide some minutes at the "2" spot. Despite that fact, he has played ten minutes or less in half of the Gators' SEC games. Shipman had scored nine points in the five previous games combined before matching that number during the first half of action in Rupp Arena.

Donovan talked about Shipman's role and how it played out in the regular season finale.

"Ray played well and we need his effort and we need the things he's doing. Probably in the game he maybe should have been on the floor a little bit more, but I probably would have kept him in the game more if he hadn't gotten hit in the mouth."

Donovan said while fans may wonder about the time Shipman gets on the court, the simple fact is before last week the sophomore from Miami was shooting less than 40 percent from the field.

"A lot of people look at him and the fact that he gave us nine points, but Ray has not been a consistent scorer for us all year long. The one thing that happens to a lot of players – and I think Ray has to get a lot better at this – when he scores it energizes him. We need him energized when he's not scoring; because I wouldn't say right now that's the strength of him."

Still, Donovan acknowledges that Shipman may have earned more time on the floor than the one minute he got in the second half.

"Maybe Ray should have played a bit more. We had him in the game and we look him back out. I think Ray in the first half clearly had a lot to do with us being down 18 (points) and cutting it to ten. In the second half we were down by double digits and we cut it all the way to two. Then once we cut it to two we got down by six and maybe it was leaning toward having a little bit more of an offensive team out there because we needed some scoring."


Shipman also scored five points in the Vandy game, giving him 14 in the last two outings. That's the most points he has scored in consecutive outings since games against Michigan State (10) and Rutgers (4) up in Atlantic City. He scored those 14 points in just 15 minutes.


On the year Shipman is averaging 12.4 minutes a game, scoring 2.7 points and grabbing 1.6 rebounds. He has struggled with shooting from three point range (3-for-16) and is minus-9 in assist/turnover differential.

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