An Achilles heel for Florida early this season has been its inability to take care of the basketball.
The Gators recorded a combined 39 turnovers in its last two games against Webber International (exhibition) and Stetson. In its season opener against the Hatters, Florida had 18 turnovers and just 11 assists.
Why so many turnovers? Florida coach Billy Donovan pointed out a variety of reasons after watching film of the game Monday morning.
“We had some guys maybe trying to do too much off the dribble a bit,” Donovan said. “I thought Chandler had some plays where he over-penetrated a little bit. I thought there were some opportunities where Vernon (Macklin), Kenny Kadji and Erik Murphy had some opportunities around the basket. They bobbled it and lost balls.
“And then the other thing was we had five charges in the game, offensive fouls which obviously led to turnovers. When guys are driving the ball they have to be somewhat under control and understand who is in front of them and who is open and the decisions they have to make.”
Last season, behind former UF record-setting point guard Nick Calathes, the Gators led the Southeastern Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 16.8 assists to 12.9 turnovers (1.39).
Sophomore Erving Walker has taken over in his place and has been more than steady with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 21 of 4. Instead, the big guys have been careless at times. Dan Werner, Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus had a combined two assists to six turnovers on Sunday.
“Those three guys have a negative assist to turnover ratio right now,” Donovan said. “That’s something those guys should clean up because one is a senior and the other two are juniors and those are good handling and passing guys. They should be better than what they are.”
Walker is confident the Gators will straighten out their turnover woes in practice this week. Florida next plays Wednesday night against Georgia Southern.
“We’re a team that passes and moves the ball well,” Walker said. “So I don’t think that will be too much of a problem.”
Also of note
– Florida 2010 incoming verbal commitment Patric Young attended the Stetson game and said he sent the school his signed letter of intent. But Florida has yet to announce the signing of Young and 2010 verbal commitment Casey Prather.
– The one that got away? Kentucky freshman point guard Eric Bledsoe, high on Florida until new UK coach John Calipari swooped him away last spring, scored 24 points in his debut against Morehead State to earn SEC freshman of the week honors.
— Florida still has never gone a game without making a 3-pointer in 14 seasons under Billy Donovan. But Donovan was in the building the last time the Gators failed to make a 3-pointer. On Jan. 11, 1992, at Rupp Arena, Florida failed to make a 3-pointer in an 81-60 loss to Kentucky. Donovan was a 26-year-old assistant under Rick Pitino.
The top 10 pop songs that year were:
1. Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
2. Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”
3. U2, “Mysterious Ways”
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Under The Bridge”
5. Wreckz-N-Effect, “Rump Shaker”
6. Michael Jackson, “Black or White”
7. House of Pain, “Jump Around”
8. Boyz II Men, “End Of the Road”
9. Arrested Development, “Tennessee”
10. Eric Clapton, “Tears In Heaven”