Gators to tip off at No. 10

Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has the Gators in the Top 10 in The Associated Press preseason college basketball poll.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun File
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.

Once again, Florida will begin the season ranked in the top 10 in both major college basketball polls.

The Gators are ranked No. 10 in the preseason AP men’s college basketball poll released Thursday. Florida is ranked 8th in the USA Today preseason college poll.

Florida returns two starters and seven scholarship players from a team that finished 29-8 and reached the Elite Eight for the third straight season. But given the injuries and unknowns surrounding the Gators, Donovan doesn’t view his team among the nation’s elite.

“We're not even remotely close to being top 10 in the country right now." Donovan said.

Injuries and illnesses of several players have taken their toll on the quality of practice. Florida has only had four players healthy and consistent for the entire preseason camp — center Patric Young, forward Casey Prather, point guard Kasey Hill and Walker.

“With the limited numbers we have had, we have practiced fairly decent,” Donovan said. “We need to have a little bit more urgency than we have right now. We’ve had some really good practices. We had a great practice on Sunday. We were really good yesterday. But there’s too much inconsistency, and part of that is hard for me to really put my finger on just because we’ve had so many players coming in and out of practice. That’s probably had some kind of factor on it. But right now we’re not as consistent as we need to be.”

The Gators will need to sort through those issues soon. In its non-conference schedule, Florida will have four matchups with preseason Top 25 teams:- Nov. 12 at No. 20 Wisconsin, Dec. 2 at No. 18 Connecticut, Dec. 10 at home vs. No. 5 Kansas and Dec. 17 vs. No. 13 Memphis at the Jimmy V Classic in New York City.

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