Notebook: Boynton says he's 100 percent for BYU game

UF sophomore guard Kenny Boynton will be the Gators' primary defender on BYU standout guard Jimmer Fredette on Thursday night.

Aaron Daye/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS — Florida sophomore guard Kenny Boynton said he's confident that his mild ankle sprain is 100 percent.

Boynton took part in Florida's open workout Wednesday and didn't favor his ankle at all while running, cutting and taking shots. He is slated to start Thursday in Florida's Southeast Region semifinal game against BYU.

"I did a good job," Boynton said. "I practiced (Wednesday). I did a workout (Tuesday) so it didn't really bother me. I'm definitely confident."

Boynton said he iced the injured ankle four times. He also had hot and cold whirlpool treatments done to rehab the injury under the direction of trainer Dave "Duke" Werner. Florida senior Chandler Parsons said he saw Boynton "in the training room all the time."

Boynton sprained the ankle late during Saturday's 73-65 NCAA Tournament win over UCLA. Boynton, UF's second leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, will get the initial defensive assignment on BYU senior guard Jimmer Fredette.

Florida coach Billy Donovan said Boynton was held out of practice on Tuesday, but practiced Wednesday without problems.

"It was probably more the trainer precautionary holding him out in practice more than anything else," Donovan said. "He probably could have gone ... but they wanted to give him that extra time to get him back in the flow."

Donovan happy for Smart

Donovan said he's happy for VCU coach Shaka Smart, a former UF assistant who has led the Rams to their first Sweet 16 in school history.

Smart worked under Donovan during the 2008-09 season. In the spring of 2009, Smart took over the VCU job when another former UF assistant, Anthony Grant, left VCU for Alabama.

"It's amazing, the perception of you nationally totally changes," Donovan said. "He's the same guy he was a week ago. The same guy. But no one really even knew him."

Smart has led 11th seed VCU to upsets over Purdue and Georgetown after knocking off USC in a First Four game.

"We laugh about it because it's amazing all of the attention he's getting because he's won (three) games in the NCAA Tournament, and a lot of times people don't understand that that doesn't necessarily make a great coach," Donovan said. "It's how you coach up a team, your kids and what you are able to do with them. But I'm happy for him now because I think this experience now for him is great."

Donovan was 34 when he coached Florida to the Final Four in 2000. Smart is 33. VCU next plays Florida State in the Southwest Regional semifinals Friday in San Antonio, Texas.

"Maybe he can keep going," Donovan said. "I'd be happy for them."

Staying on the court

Florida is the only Division I team in the country not to have a player foul out.

"I've never had a season where no one fouled out," Donovan said. "It's a credit to this team."

UCLA pushed Florida to the limit, drawing four fouls on both senior center Vernon Macklin and freshman center Patric Young. But having Young and sophomore forward Erik Murphy available off the bench has allowed Donovan to manage foul trouble more effectively than last season.

"Depth helps because you can go to somebody else, but we were in a bind in the second half for both Vernon and Pat," Donovan said. "UCLA is a physical team at the basket as we've seen this year. I don't know if we've played against anyone that's had two guys at the blocks that are that physical as (Reeves) Nelson and Josh Smith. On the other side, Josh Smith had to play with fouls, too. We were doing the same thing to them."

Boynton and Macklin both fouled out in Florida's 99-92 double-overtime loss to BYU in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Davies makes trip

Suspended BYU sophomore power forward Brandon Davies has made the trip to New Orleans and will be with the team for Thursday night's game.

BYU suspended Davies earlier this month for violating the school's honor code after Davies admitted he had premarital sex with his girlfriend.

"The issue with Brandon right now is that I think the support of the team, him being able to travel with the team, is really good for him," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "And I think him being around our players is really good for us. And so that's why the administration and our staff have made the decision to have him with us."

An honor code review will determine if Davies will remain in school next season or keep his basketball scholarship.

"I respect the fact that it's hard for others to understand," Rose said. "But our players and the students at BYU, they are committed."

No Loyd, no problem

Florida players and fans may remember Michael Loyd Jr. — and not just for his mohawk haircut. Loyd Jr. scored 26 points off the bench for BYU in its 99-92 double-overtime win against UF in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Loyd transferred to Midwestern State College, a Division II school in Wichita Texas, to play with his older brother. But Rose said other BYU players are capable of stepping up off the bench. BYU senior forward Logan Magnusson scored 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in BYU's opening NCAA Tournament win over Wofford. Sophomore forward Stephen Rogers scored 10 points in 11 minutes off the bench against Gonzaga.

"We will need help off the bench," Rose said. "That's kind of been a trademark of this team. We've found someone to come in and give us a lift."

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