Men's Basketball Headline
GatorZone.com Senior Writer
(photo courtesy U.S. Presswire)
OMAHA, Neb. -- Kenny Boynton admits he’s struggling with
his 3-point shot, but he’s just fine with “and-one” variety triples.
They count just as much.
“Oh yeah,” Boynton said. “I’ll take ‘em.”
He’s taking ‘em all right. The Boynton that ripped Norfolk State for 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting in Sunday’s 84-50 demolition job in the NCAA West Region at CenturyLink Center is one the Gators and Coach Billy Donovan will gladly live with.
OK, so he only made two of his seven 3-pointers -- the first one he took and the last one -- but in between he drove at big Spartans center Kyle O’Quinn to get him a foul less than three minutes into the game.
“I think that kind of got me in a rhythm for the game,” Boynton said.
It probably got the Spartans out of rhythm, but it definitely did some good for the junior guard from Pompano Beach. He saw space in the Norfolk defense and went for it.
Boynton drove the paint and drew a second foul on starting guard Chris McEachin three minutes later, making the bucket and sinking the ensuing free throw. He grabbed a rebound and went coast to coast for a layup. He hit a driving bank shot. Then he hit another.
Boynton’s make on another hard drive to the bucket -- and foul, and free throw -- put UF up by 31 with 7:13 to go, its biggest lead of the game.
“I just wanted to attack and not just settle for 3s,” said Boynton, who had his first 20-point effort in 20 games, dating to the Feb. 21 win over Auburn. “I think I did a great job finishing around the rim. My outside shot still wasn’t there, but I think I played an overall good game and mixed it up.”
Throw a career-high eight rebounds in there, too.
“It usually takes Kenny five games to get eight rebounds,” Donovan said.
Chances are, he’ll still have to answer questions about what has happened to his long-range jumper, which was well over 40-percent well into the Southeastern Conference season.
The last five games, including Sunday’s, Boynton is 6-for-28 from the long-ball line.
That’s 21.4 percent.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “Serious, I’m good.”
Freshman guard Bradley Beal went through some similar struggles with his shot earlier in the season.
“He’s probably feeling how I felt, but he’s doing a tremendous job,” Beal said. “He’s still being aggressive and doing other things to impact the game. He defends. He grabbed rebounds. He scored 20 points today, so it’s just great to see him still attacking and being aggressive and contributing.”