Donovan on Cats-Gators

Florida coach Billy Donovan knows he has a quick turnaround to get ready to host No. 3 Kentucky after losing 95-87 at Vanderbilt Saturday.

Florida coach Billy Donovan knows he has a quick turnaround to get ready to host No. 3 Kentucky after losing 95-87 at Vanderbilt Saturday.

"We have to get prepared to play a very, very good Kentucky tam. They are good and they have played consistently all year and have improved. It will be a great challenge," Donovan said during the SEC coaches' teleconference Monday.

Donovan says Kentucky's strong backcourt play of freshmen John Wall and Eric Bledsoe has been no surprise to him.

"Both Wall and Bledsoe are terrific players. I think everybody knew a lot about Wall. I had a chance to see Bledsoe play quite a bit and think he is terrific. They are playing with two point guards and the way it seems on film their chemistry and cohesiveness has been a strength of the team. They are both having terrific year and both are playing well," Donovan said.

Donovan came close to signing UK junior Patrick Patterson three years ago and he's not surprised that Patterson has shown more versatility this year under John Calipari.

"Patrick is one of the best low post players in this league and country. I felt in high school he could step out and make mid-range shots and he did that some last year. John has given him the opportunity to even step out and take the 3," Donovan said. "John still has him inside where he is truly special, but he has always been able to do a lot of those things he is doing now but he has just been given the opportunity to do a little more of it."

Vanderbilt was able to exploit Florida inside and Donovan noted one reason was Vandy's depth at center and both forward spots that helped force his team into foul trouble. However, he knows the challenge gets no easier against Patterson, DeMarcus Cousins and Kentucky.

"Clearly when you look at Kentucky, they have size, length and strength," Donovan said. "They have tremendous size. They are long. They rebound the ball very well. If our frontcourt was a phenomenal frontcourt, they would still pose problems.

"I think Kentucky's front and team pose problems for anybody they play. Their frontcourt is very good and I think their backcourt is very good and their team is very good."


AllWildcats Top Stories