Vandy talking points: Billy D on final shot in regulation


Florida coach Billy Donovan said that junior point guard Erving Walker’s missed 3-point attempt at the end of regulation was designed to go inside.

“We wanted to have Erv come around a screen and drive inside for some action around the basket,” Donovan said. “Instead, he settled for a jump shot.”

After dribbling the ball for 24 seconds, Walker fired a 25-footer with two seconds left that rattled out of the rim. Vanderbilt had a desperation full-court heave that fell shot off the rebound, and both teams went into overtime tied at 54.

Walker had an off shooting night, finishing 4-for-13 from the floor and 1-for-6 from 3-point range. He still wound up with a solid floor game with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

It was similar to a decision Walker made at the end of regulation against Jacksonville, when he dribbled around the perimeter instead of getting the ball closer to the basket in the closing seconds with the score tied. Walker missed an off-balanced 3-point shot attempt,  and the Gators went on to their only overtime loss this season, 71-68.

— With the win against Vanderbilt, the Gators improved to 3-1 this season in overtime and 4-3 in games decided by five points or less. In 15 seasons at Florida, Donovan is 50-64 in games decided by five-points or less and 14-13 in overtime.

— Freshman forward Will Yeguete is averaging six rebounds per game off the bench in each of his last two games. But Yeguete struggled from the free-throw line, going 1-of-6 against Vanderbilt. “Will played hard,” Donovan said. “I’d love for him to be able to make a few more free throws for us, but he’s playing hard.”


  1. Donovan wanted Walker to drive the lane?!?!?!?!? It’s no wonder Erving chucked up a “tre;” even HE apparently knows that a drive to the basket by him is ill-fated probably more than 50% of the time!!!
    Why isn’t Boynton getting the ball in these circumstances? I thought HE was the SHOOTING Guard and Walker the Point Guard!
    Billy himself has become a bit of an enigma!
    >PS: Did you notice Dick Vitale’s comment during the game regarding the Gators that like the Ohio State Buckeyes, there’s no reason a so-called football school can’t be a basketball power too!?!
    THANK YOU Dicky V.!!!
    I hope the powers that be heard that, and that it seeps deep into our collective psyche – dissolving any vestiges of the errant belief to the contrary!
    (1:46 am, ET)

  2. In the Vandy game Walker made 2 very clean and nice drives to the lane and both scored. The reason was that Patrick Young (really like this kid) sealed his man off with his body to give him a clean shot. Worked well and should have been done again at the end, with Parsons trailing for a followup just in case.

  3. “Florida coach Billy Donovan said that junior point guard Erving Walker’s missed 3-point attempt at the end of regulation was designed to go inside.”

    I’m sure this has happened over the course of Erving’s career more often than not. He is a sub par post feeding PG.

  4. “In 15 seasons at Florida, Donovan is 50-64 in games decided by five-points or less and 14-13 in overtime.”

    That is an alarmingly mediocre stat for Billy. Thank goodness he has two rings to offset such numbers.

  5. Donovan’s comments only point out that Walker does what ever he wants and is not held accountable. Unequal accountable once again. Strange that he coach would admit that a player does not do what he was told, yet there are no consequences except for hurting the team.

  6. “Donovan’s comments only point out that Walker does what ever he wants and is not held accountable. Unequal accountable once again. Strange that he coach would admit that a player does not do what he was told, yet there are no consequences except for hurting the team.”

    Considering that Walker has probably been the MVP of the team up to this point, I think your comments are laughable. Where would we be at this point in the season without his contributions? I shudder to think what our record would be if Wilbekin or Boynton had to handle the PG reins full-time.

  7. How do you know Donovan has not held Walker accountable? Are you at practice or in the coaches office when he talks to his players and/or disciplines them? What should have Coach Donovan done? Bench Walker and play who?

    Walker is fine guard who has made more good choices than bad ones and is a solid contributor to the Gator’s wins this year. It looked to me as if he could not shake off the player guarding him to make the cut inside and thus may have been stuck with forcing a 3 pt shoot. But of course you would have to be on the coaching staff and review the tape of the game a few times to know for sure. We are not coaches so though we have a right to our opinions, that is all they are – opinions.

  8. I agree that Walker is the most important player on this team, but you and many other fans will likely be crying when he does not follow the coaches instructions in a big game and we lose. It could be in the Sweet 16 or elite 8.

  9. @BMOC Having value to a team does not equal having licence to do whatever you want. It does not mean you go off-script and do whatever you want. Clearly you are either missing the point or don’t understand the game. Walker is selfish. That is a problem. It is, as I and some others are pointing out here, a problem that we do not see being addressed. Why? Because there has been little change in the way he plays. Yes, he has value to the team. However, this team could be a lot better if he and KB made better decisions on offense. Period.

  10. I’m not prepared to label the kid as selfish or undisciplined (I flat out have no way of knowing), but it is staggering to me that he would go out there with coach’s instructions to push the ball inside and instead dribble around the top of the arc like that. Shaking off the defender was NOT an issue; look back at the film, Walker had several feet of clearance for the entire sequence. He just got it into his head that he was going to shoot from outside, for whatever reason.

  11. True, Boyton & Walker are not true PGs. They’re SGs trying to play PG. Sometimes I feel better with Chandler handling the ball. I agreed with one of the comments that Kenny should handle late clock situations. I’ve seen so many last possession shots by the Gators not go in. They’re usually long shots taken by Walker with little or no passing involved. Not only can Kenny drive to the basket better than Walker, he’s much more clutch at foul shooting when the pressure is on. However, how many times have you seen Kenny double dribble when he starts to drive. It drives me nuts!! That could be why we don’t see the ball in his hands. Scotty does the same thing.

  12. @Not Buying It, You are clearly Not Watching It either. Selfish is something that’s in his head. Is he? Only he knows for sure but his actions dictate that he may be. I tend to believe he is. Undisciplined is something that can be easily measured by watching. He is clearly undisciplined. I believe he’s undisciplined bc he’s selfish and bc he does not get corrected from above. You think he’s neither, which I find baffling. But you are entitled to your opinion and I respect it.

  13. Interesting comments from all. Gator Bob makes a vaild point in that we don’t know, nor should we, to what extent the coaches have held Walker, or all others for that matter, accountable for their menatl mistakes and attitude. It does however, clearly show how important the role of point guard is as floor leader. What we’ve seen the past 4 years should be a clear reminder of how good a player Taurean Green was on those 2 NC teams. He may not have been the NBA stud that the front court guys were, but in so many ways, he was those team’s MVP.

  14. Walker has always been terrible with game management and game situations. Any idiot would know that you don’t shoot a 25 footer to end regulation when you are tied. He almost lost the UGA game for the gators as well with very poor shot selection and terrible understanding of game situations. He is just flat out not smart and does not understand the game of basketball. Yes he hits some deep threes, but more often than not hurts the team more than helps.

  15. B Diddy, how do you take my comment that I’m not prepared to call the kid selfish or undisciplined because I have no way of knowing, and infer from that that I’m asserting he’s NOT selfish or undisciplined?

  16. For Everyone’s Edification (from Wikipedia) —
    Point guard (PG), also called the play maker or “the ball-handler”, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, they are expected to run the team’s offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right players at the right time. Above all, the point guard must totally understand and accept his or her coach’s game plan; in this way, the position can be compared to a quarterback in American football.

    A point guard, like all player positions in basketball, has specific characteristics that are essential for them to help guide their team to a victory. The Basketball Handbook by Lee Rose describes a point guard as a coach on the floor, who can handle and distribute the ball to teammates. It also states that the more speed a point guard has, the more likely he will be able to create separation and space off the dribble, which allows the point guard room to work. Point guards should also be vocal floor leaders, and should discuss rule interpretations with officials. A point guard must always know the time on both the shot clock and the game clock, the score, the number of timeouts for both teams, and whom to foul late in the game.

    Most current NBA point guards are 6’4″ or shorter in height. A true point guard’s job is to create scoring opportunities for his team. The role includes passing and running the offense: setting up plays on the court, getting the ball to the teammate that he feels is in the best position to score, and dictating the tempo of the game. This also means knowing when and how to instigate a fast break and when and how to initiate the more deliberate sets.

    After an opponent scores, it is typically the point guard who brings the ball down court to begin an offensive play. For this reason, passing skills, ball handling, and court vision are pivotal. Point guards are often evaluated more on their assist totals than on their scoring. Another major evaluation factor is Assist-to-Turnover ratio, which indicates the decision-making skills of the player. Still, a first-rate point guard should also have a reasonably effective jump shot.

    If a point guard has more size (height, muscle) compared to the prototypical point guard, it is considered a plus, but size is only secondary to awareness and ball skills. Among the taller players who have enjoyed success at the position is Magic Johnson, who was 6’9″ and won the National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award three times in his career. Other point guards who have been named the NBA MVP include Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson (who somewhat foreshadowed Johnson in that he was 6’5″, the size of many forwards in his era), and relatively undersized Steve Nash, who is a two-time winner.

  17. I agree with gatorboi352’s sentiment that for a coach of Billy Donovan’s stature (level of success: 2 NC; career 70% W.P.), a 14-13 record in OT games IS “alarmingly mediocre.”
    However, with a record of 50-64 in games decided by five points or less, I would not be so propitious – it’s flat-out BAD!!! (“alarmingly” so).
    >PS: It’s interesting to note that as a stipulation of his release from his Orlando Magic contract, Donovan reportedly agreed not to coach in the NBA for the following five seasons. I don’t know what his current UF contract is, but next season will be his fifth since then. (Recall that back then, after his second title run, he declined the HC offer from the Univ. of Kentucky).