Profile: Dorian Finney-Smith
Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 2:08 a.m.
DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH • F • SOPHOMORE
With strong guidance from a former Gator, Dorian Finney-Smith is looking forward to building his own legacy at Florida.
Weight: 212 pounds
Will the Miami Heat three-peat this year?: No, I'm a Kobe fan
Favorite Song: Anything by Lil Boosie
Finney-Smith transferred from Virginia Tech to Florida in the spring of 2012 and sat out last season per NCAA rules. But his impact was felt in practice. Some within the program felt he was UF's best player in practice last season, heady praise considering last season's 2012-13 squad featured a 2,000-point career scorer (Kenny Boynton) and NBA second-round draft pick (Erik Murphy).
Versatility is Finney-Smith's greatest strength. Teammate Patric Young described Finney-Smith as “a 6-foot-8 guard” because of his ball-handling ability. Finney-Smith is capable of playing both power forward and small forward, and hasn't ruled out possibly using him as a backup point guard during some stretches, Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
“Really, I do whatever it takes to win,” Finney-Smith said. “If it takes me to go play the five (center) or the four (power forward), I'll do it. If it takes me to go handle the ball, I'll do it, too.”
Growing up in Portsmouth, Va., Finney-Smith was neighbors with former Gator center Vernon Macklin. The two remain close friends.
“He's like a brother to me, really,” Finney-Smith said. “Whenever I had a tough time, I need somebody to talk to, I call Vernon. He just tells me what to do because he sat out, too. When I went home this summer, he came to my house. We work out together. I still try to beat him one-on-one, he's just a little bigger than me.”
Macklin, now playing overseas in China, had success in two seasons with the Gators (2010-11) after transferring from Georgetown.
“It was a big influence, because I saw what they did with him, I saw how his game developed and I wanted my game to do the same,” Finney-Smith said. “When he was at Georgetown, his game didn't change and when he got to Florida, Coach D really changed his game.”
In one season at Virginia Tech, Finney-Smith averaged 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, earning All-ACC freshman team honors. Turnovers (57) were an issue and Finney-Smith shot just 33.2 percent from the field.
With that in mind, Donovan is trying to temper expectations for the former McDonald's All-American forward.
“I don't want him to feel the burden of having to feel like he has to carry our team, because it's unfair to him and it's not who he is,” Donovan said. “I like the idea of having the chance to use a guy like that and create different lineups with different sizes and I like the fact I can move him around to some different spots.”