While Florida coach Billy Donovan doesn’t view the 2014-15 Gators as a top 10 team yet, a pair of analysts from ESPN think it’s only a matter of time before the Gators get there.
“I like the Gators a lot,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Sean Farnham, who will calling tonight’s Florida-William & Mary game for the SEC Network. ” I think they are going to be right where we always expect them to be.
“Replacing seniors is difficult, but when you lose 58 percent of your scoring and 52 percent of your rebounding, that’s a lot. But you look at the talent that they have, and you say, OK, well this is why you came to Florida, for the opportunity so when the time comes, you are ready to answer that call. Billy Donovan’s teams have always done that and I expect Florida’s teams to do the same this year.”
Farnham said he thinks one of the keys this season is for sophomore point guard Kasey Hill to avoid injury.
“He missed two different stretches during the course of last season,” Farnham said. “I think Michael Frazier and the work that he put in, in the offseason, attacking off the bounce and not just being a perimeter 3-point threat is going to help this team. ”
ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg said he thinks Donovan is UF’s biggest asset.
“Billy’s program and his culture is about us, it’s not about any one individual,” Greenberg said. “He had four great leaders last year that really did a great job of selling that. It’s more about the whole being the greater of the sum of its parts. It’s about guys trusting each other and embracing roles and Billy does a great job of connecting with players.”
Greenberg said he’s expecting junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith to step up in a starting role.
“He’s got a great feel, a nose to rebound,” said Greenberg, who coached Finney-Smith for a season at Virginia Tech. “He’s skilled and you will see him shoot it better this year.”