UF hoops plays last exhibition tonight


Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 7:49 p.m.

Florida coach Billy Donovan is satisfied with how the Gators have physically competed in preseason practices.

Facts

At a glance

Who: Florida Gators vs. Georgetown College (Ky.) Tigers
When: Tonight, 7
Where: O'Connell Center
Gainesville-area TV: GatorVision (online)
Gainesville-area Radio: AM-850

FLORIDA PROBABLE STARTERS

G Kenny Boynton 6-2 So. 14.0 ppg, 2.7 apg
G Erving Walker 5-8 Jr. 12.6 ppg, 4.9 apg
F Chandler Parsons 6-9 Sr. 12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg
F Alex Tyus 6-8 Sr. 11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg
C Vernon Macklin 6-10 Sr. 10.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg

GEORGETOWN PROBABLE STARTERS

G Matt Walls 6-3 Sr. 5.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg
G Eddie Gray 5-7 Sr. 9.9 ppg, 3.6 apg
G Johonne Hamilton 6-1 Jr. 7.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
F Vincent Crutcher 6-4 Sr. 9.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
F Vic Moses 6-6 Jr. 17.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg

Notes:Florida has won 19 straight exhibition games. ... The Gators are 58-13-1 in exhibition games overall, and 33-2-1 in preseason games under Billy Donovan. ... Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton has averaged 23.7 points in three career exhibition games. ... Georgetown College finished 26-7 overall and 11-3 in the Mid-South Conference. ... The Tigers are led by forward Vic Moses. Moses has scored more than 1,000 points in his career and last year was an NAIA All-American honorable mention.

— Kevin Brockway

The next step is more crisp execution, which Donovan hopes will materialize in tonight's preseason finale against Georgetown (Ky.) College.

Florida was ragged at times in its opening preseason game against Florida Tech, committing 19 turnovers in the 92-58 win. But the Gators showed the ability to absorb some punishment on the defensive end, taking seven charges.

"The last three years I can't remember taking seven charges the whole year, nevermind one ," Donovan said. "To me those are the physical things you need to do to win at this level.

"The next thing is are we going to execute at the level where we can be considered a top 10 team. And we're not executing at that point right now."

Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton agreed with Donovan's assessment.

"We've got to take every possession more seriously," said Boynton, who scored a team-high 24 points against Florida Tech. "We're taking possessions for granted. The execution (of) drills in practice, our turnovers are outweighing the finishes we're supposed to have. That's been a problem, but we're definitely trying to get better at that."

Donovan said that the starters will get more minutes tonight in an effort to develop a rotation heading into the season-opener Nov. 12 against UNC-Wilmington. Georgetown is ranked ninth in the preseason NAIA men's Division I basketball poll. Florida is ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll and 11th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

"I think we will try to get into more of a consistent flow and find roles for our team," Donovan said.

Donovan also said he's looking for more leadership from Vernon Macklin. The center was held to four points on 2-of-6 shooting in 12 minutes in the preseason opener against Florida Tech.

"I think Vernon needs to prove he can lead under duress, under adversity, under difficult situations," Donovan said. "I've tried to create some adversity in practice, for him and for our team, to see how they will respond. And I don't think Vernon has responded how I would like to see him respond."

Macklin said he's been working on his left hand in the preseason, and needs to do a better job finishing around the rim. As for leadership, Macklin admitted he needs to grow.

"I've got to get better when things are not going my way to block them out and still lead young guys," Macklin said. "I can't let small things get to me."

FREE THROWS: Freshman point guard Scottie Wilbekin (neck) will be held out of tonight's game, "We hope to have him back (practicing) by the weekend," Donovan said. In Wilbekin's absence, Boynton, forward Chandler Parsons and walk-on Kyle McClanahan will see more time at the point. ... Parsons wore a brace on his left hand after spraining his thumb over the weekend in practice. X-Rays were negative and Parsons expects to play tonight.

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