Here’s Florida’s projected starting lineup for Monday’s exhibition opener against Warner University. Not much of a change from last year, other than Alex Tyus starting at center for the departed Marreese Speights
C ” Alex Tyus, so
F ” Dan Werner, jr
G ” Nick Calathes, so
G ” Jai Lucas, so
G ” Walter Hodge, sr.
Yes, apparently the NAIA school from Lake Wales wants to be referred to as Warner University, not Warner Southern. No apparent reason was given for the change of heart on the name.
Look for Chandler Parsons to again assume the role of sixth man and for freshman guard Ray Shipman and freshman center Kenny Kadji to work their way into the rotation early off the bench. Billy D said Thursday that sophomore guard Adam Allen (knee) remained “up in the air” and that freshman forward Eloy Vargas probably won’t play. Vargas has been slow to come around from an offseason ankle injury.
“His ankle has healed but in terms of his functional strength on the court and being able to run and rebound and defend and finish and do those things he’s so far behind and through maybe not having a good base of conditioning and weightlifting his body is starting to break down,” Donovan said. “We’ve got to get him to a point where he can physically get out there and be able to compete.”
Donovan hinted Vargas could be held out the first few games of the regular season in order to regain his health and conditioning.
“I think a lot of it right now is going to get to a point where he can come on the floor and he can practice like he needs to practice,” Donovan said. “I think that’s what we need to try to be able to do. What’s happening right now it’s almost like a vicious cycle for him because he’s over-compensating in certain areas. What’s happening is he’s having some knee problems. And then he’s having some back problems. The ankle is fine. What people don’t realize is Eloy had this injury early in his senior year. And we didn’t fix it until basically the end of June, beginning of July. So he went through his whole entire senior year dealing with this and then he’s basically gone through the whole summer dealing with this and all the preseason.”
Donovan also revealed that Allen has asthmatic issues that affect his conditioning, but is pulling for the 6-foot-8 guard/forward to come back at full strength.
“He’s a guy that comes in every day and gives you everything he has,” Donovan said. “I love coaching Adam because of the type of kid he is and he wants the team to do well.