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Donovan didn’t mince words when asked about his team’s performance Wednesday night. (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel)
The Florida Gators’ issues are bigger than a poor showing against UCF, Billy Donovan says. The Gators fell to the Knights 57-54 at Amway Center as they struggled from the three-point range (2-of-13), the free-throw line (10-of-18), and protecting the ball (14 turnovers).
Donovan, in the most blunt he’s been about his team this season, said his seniors are being too selfish.
“Those older guys are, to me, less concerned about trying to do something great collectively as a group and are more wrapped up in what’s going to happen to me,” Donovan said. “All of our older guys are way, way too wrapped up in their offense.”
While center Vernon Macklin was nearly unstoppable on the low block — he scored 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting — the Gators’ guards failed to keep feeding the big man. Instead, Donovan said, perimeter guys Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Chandler Parsons were concerned with creating shots for themselves.
The trio combined to shoot 34.6 percent.
“Let’s get Vernon the ball,” Donovan said. “But we’re too wrapped up in I didn’t get a shot now or I missed my last one.”
Donovan continued: “They’re not playing together and they’re not utilizing each others’ individual talents. The disappointing part is these guys all played together last year.
“We have a bunch of guys on the floor that make nobody better.”
The players didn’t disagree.
“We have a lot of talent,” Parsons said. “But to be a great team, you have to be a team. You can’t have any selfishness.”
So where do the Gators go from here?
They have to get better, obviously. And they have to be less selfish.
But more consequently, Donovan didn’t rule out the possibility of shifting the rotation.
“We’ve got try to find a way to get it corrected, and I’m not saying make a bunch of changes right now,” he said. “I got to get some of these other guys more looks to play right now. We do have a deeper bench and we have been trying to utilize it.”
Zach McCann can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachMcCann.