Reserves' play a mixed effort

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Currently, Florida coach Billy Donovan views the state of his bench the same way Forrest Gump looks at a box of chocolates.

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DOUG FINGER/The Gainesville Sun

"I don't know what I'm going to get with these guys," Donovan said. "They are nice kids and they work hard in practice, but somehow we need to get more depth."

Florida did not get much from its bench Saturday against Ole Miss -- 10 points compared to five turnovers. Walter Hodge turned the ball over three times in 23 minutes of play and Chris Richard had just three points and two turnovers.

In all, the bench shot 4-for-11 from the floor, with freshman Dan Werner badly air-balling a 3-point attempt and Richard missing two layups underneath.

It appears Donovan is gaining more confidence in freshman guard Brandon Powell, who was the first freshman to check in off the bench Saturday. Powell made a 3-pointer and ended up with three points in two minutes.

Mistakes from Hodge and Richard, combined with the Ole Miss late comeback, forced Donovan to turn to his starters for much of the second half. Asked what he could do to get his bench players going, Donovan replied, "I don't know. You would like to have some experience there. I thought in the first half we did some good things, but in the second half, with the mistakes we made, it affected some of our substitution patterns. I guess you have to keep giving them opportunities to work their way out of things."

Coach's son

Ole Miss reserve guard Brian Smith, the son of Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, might give his dad a call to give him a few points on how to frustrate Florida in the press.

Smith played nine productive minutes Saturday against Florida, scoring six points on a pair of 3-pointers. The threes sparked a 11-0 Ole Miss run that cut Florida's lead from 64-46 to 64-57 with 8:20 remaining.

No Huertas

Former Florida guard David Huertas did not make the trip with his new team. Huertas, who transferred from Florida to Ole Miss last spring, is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will begin his sophomore year of eligibility in the 2007-08 season.


Lee Humphrey (13 points) reached double figures for his fourth straight game and improved to 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from 3-point range in SEC play. ... Florida shot 60.9 percent from the floor, the sixth game this season the Gators have shot better than 60 percent. ... Ole Miss shot 43.9 percent, the highest percentage against Florida in four SEC games.

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