Billy D says defense, rebounding slipping


Florida coach Billy Donovan said the Gators have continued to play unselfish in practice.

But Donovan said he’s noticed “some slippage” on defense and rebounding as the team has gone to more 5-on-5 drills in practice.

“We need to clean up some of the slippage we’ve had the last couple of days,” Donovan said. “We start going 5-on-5 and now some of the rebounding, some of the blocking out some of the rotations kind of gets thrown by the wayside a little bit and they worry about playing and they are not focused on one thing at a time.”

Donovan said junior forward Erik Murphy has returned from a poked eye and has played well in practice.

“I think he’s tougher,” Donovan said. “He’s older and he’s playing with confidence and maturity right now.”

Donovan also said the team is shooting the ball well from 3-point range in practice. He said junior Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario has been UF’s most consistent 3-pointer shooter so far.

Other tidbits from SEC basketball media day:

— Donovan, on Florida having the best backcourt in the country, “I don’t know if we have the best backcourt in the country or not. I think we have some very, very gifted players. We have two guys (Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton) that are certainly proven in the league. I think that (Bradley) Beal is a very gifted and very talented player that is going to help us.”

— Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said junior forward Renardo Sidney is in better shape this season. “Is he where I want him to be? No,” Stansbury said. “I don’t know if I’ll see that yet. As long as he keeps working and doing what he’s doing, taking the same approach he’s taking he is going to take strides there. But he is better, in every way.”

— New Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said he expects his highly-touted freshman class to get plenty of playing time. “They’ll be thrown into the fire right away,” Anderson said. “We only have 10 scholarship guys.”

— Georgia coach Mark Fox said he believes that Vanderbilt has the talent and experience to reach the Final Four this season.

— New Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said it hasn’t been hard to get his players to buy into his defense-first mentality. “At the end of the day, players are going to do what it takes to win,” Martin said.



  1. i thought last years team was as good defensively as any Gator team since the Noah/Horford national championship team. Obviously our bigs were not as talented last year as Noah and Horford but they did well. It will be interesting to see what Billy can get out of Young, Murphy et al.

  2. It will indeed be interesting to see if Young and Murphy can defend well enough to win. IMO this is key to a good season. Yegette may be able to help in this area. Keep in mind that in practice Young and Murphy are not competing against the same talent as they will face in games.

  3. I have been an avid basketball fan and Gator season ticket holder for over thirty years but apparently I have a lot to learn according to Thomas. “Tyus is every bit if not more talented than Horford and Noah.”
    Obviously Thomas has insight into the game that even the NBA scouts can’t see.

  4. Tyus is more athletic than Noah or Horford, can score with either hand and can face up, Guard multiple positions. Great at pick and roll and pick and pop. At 6’10” , he would have been a top 5 pick. Size was the major factor.

  5. Thomas-
    This isn’t even close man. Horford and Noah were hands down better players and it wasn’t even close. Both had great range and were better defenders than tyus. I’ll give tyus credit in saying he really improved his senior year especially near the end but to compare them to Noah and Horford? That’s a stretch.

    I wonder what kind of improvements we might see now that we have Pelphry back.

  6. I don’t think you are getting what i am saying mrgator. Size made them better NBA prospects. Tyus was only 6′ 7″ 210. Do you really believe that Noah or Horford would have put the same career numbers and Tyus, if they were 6’7″ 210-215 ?

  7. wow….tyus?…i’m not even going to make a comment on a dumb statement like that..smh…but the key to florida season is two things mainly…1. young staying healty and 2. florida getting good production out of the small forward position…Billy D. best team has always had a productive small forward while the other teams wasn’t so good…see major parker, orion green, and dan werner…his best teams? mike miller, corey brewer, and chandler parson as the small forward spot…those teams made deeper runs into the tourment.