FAU talking points: Donovan wants better decisions


Billy Donovan said following Tuesday night’s 79-66 win over Florida Atlantic that his team’s basketball IQ needed to get “a whole lot better.”

Making better decisions was the focus in practices this week heading into Sunday night’s matchup in Tallahassee with Florida State.

Donovan pointed out that his returning players have a combined asssit-to-turnover ratio of 57 to 56 through the first five games of the season.

“That’s way too much for a veteran group,” Donovan said.

Donovan said the coaching staff has charted shot selection early this season and that the Gators were hoisting too many challenged, ill-advised shots.

“We need to make better decisions with the ball,” Donovan said. “Shot selection decisions, passing decisions, offensive decisions. We need to have a better understanding of what our identity is and how we are trying to play and what we are trying to do offensively.”

* Donovan said that junior center Vernon Macklin will continue to play through his knee problems. Donovan said he met with Macklin and Florida trainer Dave “Duke” Werner this week. “(Vernon) doesn’t feel like he needs to rest,” Donovan said. “He practiced the entire day (Thursday), but that was coming off a day off. We’ll see where he’s at (Friday). I think with our frontcourt depth we’re going to go with where he’s at and see how he does.”

* Donovan said he feels like freshman center Patric Young looks more comfortable after some court awareness and fouling issues earlier this season. Young has committed just two fouls over his last three games after committing six in his first two games. “I think Patric is getting better and I’m also pleased that we were able to get more minutes for (freshman) Will Yeguete,” Donovan. Yeguete had six rebounds in nine minutes against FAU. For the season, Yeguete is averaging 5.8 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.

* Senior forward Chandler Parsons admitted he was “a little frustrated” when he went scoreless in the first half Tuesday night against FAU. Donovan pulled Parsons midway through the first half when he tried to go coast-to-coast after grabbing a rebound and drew an offensive foul. “I felt like I wasn’t in the flow of the offense,” Parsons said. “It was me not cutting hard, not screening enough. It was more me not playing the way I should play.”

* Parsons said he doesn’t wonder what would have happened if he kept his commitment to Florida State. As a sophomore in high school, Parsons made a verbal pledge to current FSU coach Leonard Hamilton. “I’m so glad I came here (to Florida),” Parsons said. “I was young and I made an immature decision. Nick (former Gator guard Nick Calathes) had committed to Florida and a couple of other kids I knew had committed as sophomores so I felt like I needed to do the same thing.” Parsons said Hamilton was understanding when he re-opened his recruitment. “There are no hard feelings,” Parsons said.


  1. Turnovers are really related to the lack of a true point guard. It appears to me that Boynton is actually better suited from a skills perspective to play point than Walker. Walker plays more like a shooting guard – his forte is spot up shooting not dribbling and/or passing. he doesn’t create opportunities for other players. I wonder what things would look like with Boynton running things, Parsons at the 2, and Murphy at the 3.

  2. Billy —
    By all means, don’t hurt Walker’s feelings! Continue to do what Urban Meyer has done all season: refuse to bench the under-performing starting “quarterback,” whose forte has been bad passing, low scoring (%), high numbers of turnovers, and an inability to avoid pressure; basically, not knowing what to do with the ball.
    After all, he’s a Junior, and he has seniority over all of the players his junior, even if they’re his senior in talent! [pardon the puns].
    PS: Also, I wonder how many more games you’d win if the team’s FREE-throw shooting percentage was increased by, oh I don’t know, say 15-20%?!? Don’t bother practicing FT’s more, though, because they’re FREEBIES from the CHARITY stripe, and as such, they ought not be something EARNED via increased skill. Rather, they should remain hit or miss luck!

    FYI, Gator Nation —
    Lest we become unreasonably infatuated with Urban Meyer due to his early success – and acquire a blind spot – let’s see how he stacks up to The Ole Ball Coach’s stats.
    Meyer’s winning percentage at UF is presently 81.01% (as of 11/28/10; after the “Joke at Doak”). If he wins the upcoming Bowl game, his winning percentage will be 81.25% (six full years, including Bowl games).
    BEHOLD, S.O.S.’s Gator stats (per Wikipedia):
    >Spurrier’s 12 year UF winning percentage (incl. Bowls) was 81.67%!
    >Playing one less game per season than now, he NEVER won less than 9 games!
    >He’s one of only two Coaches to have won 10+ games in six consecutive seasons!
    >He averaged 10.21 wins/year. [again, playing 1 less game/year]!
    >With the exception of his very first WEEK as the Gators’ new Head Ball Coach, he was NEVER ranked outside the top 25 at any point!
    >He NEVER finished any season ranked outside of the top 15!
    >He finished in the top ten 9 times!
    >Had 5 top five finishes!
    >His AVERAGE end-of-season rank was 6.8!
    >Of his 6 SEC Championship victories, four were consecutive! [his longest “dryspell” was three years].
    >And, he was SEC Coach of the Year 5 times!
    For Urban Meyer to merely MATCH Spurrier’s number of SEC Championship victories (in 12 seasons), he will have to WIN 4 of the next six!
    Urban, you’ve got your work cut out for you!

  4. ALC,
    Parsons doesn’t have good lateral quickness to defend quicker SG’s, he certainly had problems guarding Lighty in the OSU game. Parsons should stick to SF. If Yeguete gets more PT at the 4, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Murphy at SF to take more 3’s but only if UF is in a zone defensively. Also, Murph’s a very good scoring big.

    Finally, getting back to the PG position, Wilbekin has the best assist to TO ratio (15 to 2) and should get more minutes here. When he doesn’t turn it over, Walker has been a decent PG (24 A & 19 TO) and a better distributor of the ball than Boynton (11 A & 11 TO). Boynton has to pick up his play to involve others and try to become more than just a scorer!