Billy D on Shipman


Florida coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday in retrospect sophomore guard Ray Shipman deserved more playing time against Kentucky.

Shipman scored nine points and nine minutes last Sunday against the Wildcats, but did not return to the game until the closing seconds after being forced out of the game when he took a blow to the mouth with 9:16 left in the game.

“He was playing very, very well,” Donovan said. “He got hit in the mouth. He got taken out of the game, and then you know, he really didn’t get back in there.

“Nothing he did. I think Ray, and the thing he has to deal with right now as a player, a lot of people look at him and the fact that he gave us nine points, but Ray has not been a consistent performer. And the one thing I think with a lot of players, and Ray has got to get better at this, when he plays defense, it energizes him and we need him energized.”

Shipman’s issue throughout his UF career has been turnovers. Not a steady balhandler or passer, Shipman threw a near errant pass during the first half of Sunday’s game against the Wildcats. But after committing turnovers in each of his first three SEC games, Shipman has committed just five turnovers in UF’s last 13 contests.

“Maybe Ray should have played a little bit more, but we had him in the game and he got taken back out,” Donovan said. “I think we were fighting our way back in and I think Ray in the first half clearly had a lot to do with us being down 18 and cutting it to 10. And then in the second half with (Erik) Murphy on the floor, with Vernon Macklin we were down by double digits and then cut it down to two with a bigger lineup.”

Donovan said when Kentucky built the lead back to six points with three minutes remaining, it was hard to get Shipman back in the game. But after scoring 14 points off the bench in UF’s last two games, Shipman may serve an important role off the bench heading into this week’s SEC Tournament.

“We needed a little bit more of an offensive team out there with three minutes to go because we needed some scoring there,” Donovan said. “Ray played well, and we need his effort and we need the things that he’s doing.”


  1. I have like Ray Shipman ever since I heard he was Florida’s Mr. Basketball. I remember Vince Carter was that and he went to North Carolina just after Florida went to the final four in ’94.

    Seeing him play on TV, he does make mistakes but he also has a great spirit and he’s good at getting steals. As an old fan of the New York Knicks and “Clyde” Frazier the turnover by steal is a big thing to me.

    When Billy Donovan came here he brought that kind of game to UF, the fast break, the turnover, going the length of the floor for the 2 points. Ray made a little mistake going up with one hand against Xavier but I think he does energize the team.

    Obviously size is invaluable, especially at the end of a game, but quick hands and good defense are important, too.

  2. Can someone ask Billy why Dan Werner, who is clearly afraid to take a shot, has been in the games with a minute left and we are down by 2-6 points? Werner has value to this team, but not in those situations.

  3. Ray Shipman is a terrific athlete and a quality kid. He just won the SEC’s award for best academic performance by a male basketball player for the year. Don’t know if he thanked the Academy, Steve Martin or Alec Baldwin, but he did say all the right things about representing UF and Gator basketball. He’s a player all of us alumni can be proud of. I saw him dominate games in high school, so there is more offense in him than he has shown. Hopefully we’ll see more aggression from him on both offense and defense.

  4. Hey Brock, heard from a friend today who has a good buddy in UAA that Brandon Knight is headed off to KY. Can’t blame him, UK is a program that is taking off under the crook Calliperi, while UF is drifting off into mediocrcy

  5. Hay P Sprad

    Do not write off Billy D just yet or have Brandon Knight in a Kentucky blue uniform, For the first time since the ’04’s left with two National Championships – all key players will be back next year with two high quality freshman, most likely a top shelf jc PF/C and just maybe Brandon Knight and the 2011 class is looling up. Kentucky will lose all those hot shots so only time will tell how good they will be next year. In the world of one and done a college team who is great this year could be the next year’s 2010 North Carolina. Food for thought!!

  6. I agree with Jon about worthless werner. he has shown no improvement from his sophmore year, if anything he has declined.
    i also believe that walker should be off the floor, he makes way to many mistakes and takes very bad shots in the last two minutes. he cant shoot over tight d and can be shot over easily. his effort is tremendous but i think boynton at point and parsons at the two
    late in the game is our best option

  7. One thing I noticed being at the Xavier and Vandy games live that doesn’t show up on TV is that with Werner in, both teams inside offense was shut down because of his help defense. He anticipated plays as they developed, bailed out teammates who had been beaten, and managed to get back to his own assignment. I’ll concede that he does need to be more aggressive offensively at the end of games.