Notebook: Second double-double for Murphy
Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Florida senior forward Erik Murphy got the message early in UF's eventual 61-57 loss Saturday to Kentucky.
“I think the first play of the game I gave up an offensive rebound, and coach got on me,” Murphy said.
Murphy finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, posting his first double-double of the season and just the second of his career. Murphy's last double-double came as a freshman, when he had 16 points and 11 rebounds against Presbyterian on Dec. 30, 2009.
“I need to do it more,” Murphy said.
Offensively, Murphy had his way against Kentucky sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer when center Willie Cauley-Stein was in foul trouble. He scored a pair of driving baskets around Wiltjer, helping the Gators rally back from an early 11-2 deficit to tie the score at 31 at halftime. Murphy finished the game 3 of 6 from 3-point range and 3 of 5 on his two-point shots.
Florida coach Billy Donovan called a pair of quick timeouts during the game. The first came 49 seconds into the game, with Florida trailing 4-0. The second came 1:27 into the second half, when the Wildcats went on a 4-0 run to take a 35-31 lead.
“I was really annoyed to start both halves to be honest with you,” Donovan said. “I think our team knew Kentucky was going to come in and be aggressive to start the game.”
To start the game, Florida had its first two shot attempts blocked, and Donovan was upset Alex Poythress beat Murphy for an early offensive rebound. To start the second half, Patric Young had a missed short jumper and Mike Rosario followed it up with a turnover.
“We were too loose,” Donovan said.
Yeguete getting back
If there was a positive to be taken from the loss, Donovan said he thought Will Yeguete is continuing to make progress in his return from a knee injury. In his third game back from knee surgery, Yeguete finished with four points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal in 19 minutes off the bench.
“This is the first time I've seen Yeguete back to close to where he was at,” Donovan said. “I thought mentally he was really struggling. I thought he made a little bit of a jump for us, which was good.”
Casey Prather also finished with four points and nine rebounds off the bench, but freshman Michael Frazier II was scoreless (0 of 1 from the field) with one turnover.
Cal compliments Gators
Florida's loss dropped the Gators to 3-3 over their last six games. But Kentucky coach John Calipari isn't buying the notion the Gators are slipping.
“They've lost some road games, just like everyone else,” Calipari said. “But they're still one of those teams that in my mind is odds-on to have a chance to get to a Final Four.”
This year's Final Four is in Atlanta, and Calipari pointed out the last time the Final Four was in Atlanta in 2007, he had coffee every morning with Donovan's father, William. During that Final Four, Florida beat Ohio State to become the first team since Duke in 1991-92 to win back-to-back national titles.
“I told Billy's dad before the game, ‘You make sure your son gets his team to Atlanta so you and I can have coffee in the morning,' ” Calipari said.
The loss dropped Florida to 7-6 on the road to finish the regular season. … The loss also dropped Donovan to 3-14 in 17 games against Kentucky at Rupp Arena and 58-76 in his UF tenure in games decided by five points or less. … The Wildcats, the defending national champions, clinched the No. 2 seed in the SEC tournament and improved their chances for an NCAA tournament bid.
Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com.