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Monday March 4, 2013Quotes and Video from Head Coach Billy Donovan's Monday Press Conference

Gainesville, Fla.

Menís basketball head coach Billy Donovan held his weekly press conference on Monday discussed Floridaís three seniors Ė Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario Ė in advance of senior night on Wednesday vs. Vanderbilt.

 

Florida Menís Basketball Head Coach Billy Donovan

March 4, 2013

 

On Senior Day honoring Erik Murphy, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario

ďThose guys have meant a lot to our program. Theyíve done a great job. Kenny coming out of high school probably could have just about anywhere in the country and chose to stay in-state and play here. Coming off two NITs and then his freshman year I still have vivid memories against Jimmer Fredette and BYU and scoring, defending and trying to make a huge impact in the game and came up a little bit short. Then getting the chance to be part of an SEC Championship his sophomore year and advancing deeper in the tournament these last couple of years. The fact that heís going to leave here one of the all-time leading scorers and heís just had an incredible career. Personally, Iíve loved coaching him and hopefully Iíll get to coach him a lot longer. Erik, just the relationship with his dad and playing against him in college and him being at Boston College and me being at Providence and seeing Erik as a young kid as a sophomore was the first time I saw him. Being able to recruit him and looking at what happened to him his first two years he doesnít play too much, he gets into a bit of difficulty after his sophomore year and things arenít going well. He kind of grows up and he matures, he really evolves and develops into being a good player for us and maybe one of the best shooting big men in the country. I think for Mike Rosario who transfers in here and he really doesnít get a chance to play a lot last year, heís a McDonald All-American fifth-year senior and seeing him kind of having the year heís having. Iím happy for those three guys. I think those guys understand the game, even though itís senior night, this game is bigger than the senior night for us as a team with whatís on the line and playing against Vanderbilt. I think anytime itís a seniorís last home game itís meaningful.Ē

 

On how special it will be for the three seniors to win two SEC titles during their careers

ďI think it says a lot just because I donít think itís ever happened before in the history of the program so I mean I think that says a lot of what theyíve been a part of. Theyíve been a part of a lot of really good things here and both of those two guys (Murphy and Boynton) had opportunities to go a lot of other places and they chose to come here and Iím just happy its worked out well for those guys and theyíve pretty significant in their roles over the last Ė for Kenny four years and certainly for Erik the past two years.Ē

 

On how hard it is to find players like Erik Murphy who have good size and can shoot

ďI think itís hard. I think one of the things that happens is most of the time is when youíre playing defense and the floor is rotating and youíre moving, youíre having to move big-to-big so to speak. When Patric Young is out, defending a pick and roll and the ball gets thrown to another big guy there is a rotation, usually one big is rotation to the other big and the other big is rotating back so there is rotation there. I think with Erik because of the way he shoots the basketball itís hard rotations to him because a lot of the times if youíre not rotating to a three point shooter you can be a little bit late and you can close out a little bit short. With Erik you have to get all the way out there quickly because when heís got a crack and heís open, heís obviously a really good shooter. So I mean, Matt Bonner, Greg Stolt, him (Murphy) you know there arenít a lot of guys like him walking around that can do that. Erik probably in his first year didnít take very many threes and he took a few more as a sophomore and last year he kind of came into his own there but he is a terrific shooter and he gives our offense spacing. The biggest part for him this year that has helped him is heís done more around the basket this year than he has done his whole entire career. Heís a pretty well balanced offensive player right now where maybe last year he was pretty one-dimensional from behind the line.Ē

 

On if he sees Murphyís skills transferring to the NBA

ďI think heís definitely going to have a chance, there is no question. Heís a problem if heís playing with a really good point guard and you put him in pick and roll, you have to make a decision if youíre going to switch. If youíre switching with a power forward on to a really good point guard, that point guard is going to be able to make a play. If you go out there and you show and heís bouncing back and popping back, heís a good enough shooter. People always talk about an NBA skill, he has an NBA skill. That guy can really, really shoot and heís got size so heís going to have a chance. Where heís drafted, I have no idea but thereís will be enough intrigue. When you look at guys like Ryan Anderson or Kyle Korver or Matt Bonner even a Mike Miller, that has correlated and translated up there at that level.Ē

On if winning the SEC outright means anything

ďI think weíre playing for a lot here on Wednesday. I think winning a championship outright I think is always special and they certainly already have a piece of it right now. I think playing better is important right now because after this week is over with we are in one-and-done situations for the rest of the year. So I still think us playing better like one of the things I mentioned before the Alabama game is that everyone keeps talking about our teamís full strength. Our team is not at full strength and we are not where we were. Will Yeguete played 11 minutes and really didnít do too much and if he did anything he gave some of the other guys who were playing more minutes rest, which was healthy. And then (Michael) Frazier was certainly not himself and did not play great either. If these players, knock on wood, can all stay healthy we have to now incorporate all these guys we havenít had for a long period of time and get them cohesively playing together. So the game is important because the next one is for an outright championship and itís also part of, we need to be playing better than what we played for the first 28 minutes against Alabama.Ē

 

On if he sees a correlation between ball movement and the three-point shooting as a reason why assists have been down the last few games

ďAbsolutely. Thereís no question. Thatís one hundred percent. When you see us with a low number of assists and you see guys getting missed. Itís not a selfish missing where they just donít want to throw the ball. Itís a recognition of whatís going on. To Scottieís (Wilbekin) defense in the game, he didnít have a high number of assists at all in the game. The problem was the other four guys were not getting into open areas on the floor and moving. Murphy should have had, in my opinion, watching the film, five more open threes. But heís not moving behind and into the right area. Heís standing and watching and heís got to get moving into open areas and open gaps. When he does that, it makes it easy for Scottie to find people. Scottie got in the lane, our guards got in the lane. For instance, when a guy is driving down the lane at Patric Young, you canít just stand there, you have to back up to the baseline and get space where he can dump it down to you for a dunk or someone has to rotate down. So much on penetration and so much on ball movement is predicated on guys moving to open areas. If a guy drives the ball and gets to the center of the paint, heís done his job. Itís the other four guysí responsibility to get open. Thereís no question that our three-point shooting is correlated to us moving better on the perimeter and giving our guards outlets for better looks where we can make shots.Ē

 

On if the pace of the defense causes fatigue on offense

ďI think itís more of an awareness. Itís not so much running aroundÖIf Murphy is on the wing and he needs to be up on the high elbow for a better angle, itís only five steps and I donít think heís going to be too exhausted doing that. We have to have a better awareness of that. I think what happens is when a guy is driving, guys are watching instead of ĎOK, how can I help this guy move and get open?í Weíre not a team that just flips the ball and puts a guy in an iso situation and let the guy go one-on-one. We canít play like that. Weíre not that way. There are no lottery picks on our team. Weíve been a top-10 team all year long and you look at a lot of these other top 10 teams, thereís lottery picks all over the place. With that being said, whatís made our team really good has been defending collectively and running offense collectively. When we do those things, we are as good as anyone out there. When we donít, weíre very mediocre and average because our talent level is not such that weíre going to overwhelm you by throwing the ball to a guy, clearing out and letting the guy go one-on-one. Thatís not who we are and how we can play. Weíve got to get it done together.Ē

 

On how Mike Rosario responded to being benched during Saturdayís game against Alabama

ďI havenít spoken to him at all, but he was absolutely phenomenal on the bench. He was great. He was up cheering and he was talking and encouraging guys. He was fine. Iíve really got a lot of respect for Mike in that part of it. I think winning is important to him. He wasnít playing well. We moved Casey (Prather) over to that small forward spot and it happened to work out well for us. I canít sit there and say when it happened, I knew it was going to happen. Casey stepped up and played well when we needed him to. Monday and Tuesday here, if Mike works hard in practice, heís going to start against Vanderbilt. He was fine. He was very excited after the game, very happy after the game. He was very positive on the bench with guys during timeouts and during the course of the game.Ē

 

On his evaluation of Mike Rosario from last season to this season

ďI think heís really grown in a lot of ways. Are there some things he needs to do better? We all do. I do, too. You know what, heís come a long way and Iím proud of the progress heís made as a player. He would not have even remotely been in a situation last year to do what he is doing this year. He could not even do that. He missed 25 practices, five games. He was in and out of practices and he was hurt. You couldnít even rely on him. Now heís gotten to a place where weíre relying on him. Heís leading us in scoring in the league, shooting a pretty good percentage. He cares about winning. Heís trying to play the right way. Heís done some very positive things for us, from a year ago.Ē

 

On how much of components of game Saturday are isolated to just that one game

ďOne of the things I try to guard against, and I maybe havenít done a good enough job of it, I think we have a group of guys that they like each other, they want to win, that was a big game so it wasnít just a mentality of Iím going to do my own thing. I think a lot of things happened in that game. I think Alabamaís focus and energy was better than ours to start the game and even probably for the first eight minutes of the second half. I thought our energy to start the game was probably a little bit better when we went up by 11 then we had that stretch there for about 10-11 minutes where we werenít very good. I do think that itís human nature when you have these other players coming back into the fold, because our guys are unselfish guys, they care about each other there is a human element of almost I have to back up a little bit to let these other guys come in. I try to talk to them about that going into this game when Will got cleared and when Frazier got cleared that we are putting those two guys in a bad situation if you guys feel like you have to move out of the way and let them step right back in. You cannot do that. They are going to help however they can help but you guys that have been healthy are going to be the ones that are going to have to carry the weight in the game. Then for whatever reason, I donít know if it was because we werenít quite sure how to handle all that with new players coming back into the game, the emotion of the game, distracted, whatever it was I am not 100 percent sure. The hardest part this year for me as a coach is it almost seems like every two or three games I have to change what we are doing because we are down men. So you go into the Tennessee game without Frazier and he is off the rotation, now I have to go with Braxton Ogbueze who hasnít played a lot and who is being put into a difficult situation because Rosario, Wilbekin and Boynton canít play 40 minutes. Then you have a situation where all of a sudden Will Yeguete is out with his knee injury and now I have to player Prather solely at the power forward spot. If Young or Murphy needs a blow and those two guys are off the floor, now I have to take Frazier (at power forward) and play Prather at the five. So I am constantly going into practice and having to adjust, change and tweak based on the allotment of players that we have. Now all of a sudden we have everybody back and we have to get back to playing together as a group, which we have not done in a long, long time fully healthy. I think that is a challenge for me. I have to try to figure out a way that we can get to that place on offense. Defense I feel pretty good about because I think that those guys know it, but offensively I have to help them get to a better place in terms of what we are doing because when Will was out for however many games we had to put new stuff in offensively. We couldnít run the same things offensively with Prather at the five. We got caught in the Kentucky game playing Prather at the five and playing Frazier at the four. Well that is not the same thing we are doing on offense when Patric Young is out there with Murphy, itís totally different. Then you have Prather playing in that type of environment and all of a sudden you have Prather subs in for Rosario after playing the four and five for five games and now he finishes the game against Alabama in the small forward spot. He hasnít played small forward spot in five games. So I have to somehow get these guys. Iím afraid for these guys to even come in here and practice because someone is going go down with a hangnail or something is going to happen. But I have to do something to get these guys back into roles and situations that are entirely different from what they were the last month. Thatís just what we have been dealing with.Ē

 

On if saw anything with Yeguete that would readjust him playing

ďNo, we will go back to doing the same things he was doing. I think he was really nervous, uptight, concerned. I donít think it was about his knee, I just donít think he had played. He basically had a little bit of practice on Thursday, a good portion of practice on Friday. He has two practices under his belt, we are playing for first place, this guy comes in the crowd is excited he probably feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and he just wasnít himself. I think he will get back to that where he needs to get to.Ē

 

On significance of seeds in NCAA tournament

ďI think that last year I think we were seventh and Iím not sure I agreed we should have been seventh. We probably should have been better than a seven, but we kind of get thrown into that bracket and Missouri gets knocked out and we are playing Norfolk State instead of Missouri. I just feel like whenever selection Sunday is over with all day Sunday and all day Monday is talking about Ė this team is seeded to high, this team is seeded too low, this team should have been, upset this. At the end of the day you have basically 30 games you play, the selection committee is going to seed you how they are going to seed you. You have to go out and play and you have to get prepared to play. Does it make a difference? I donít know. You could look at the numbers and say the better seed you have the more likelihood there is to advance, but we were a seven seed last year with an opportunity to go to the Final Four. We have to go out and play, regardless of what the number is next to our name.Ē

 

On Frazier against Alabama

ďI donít know what was going on. I just think he missed practice on Thursday, did a little non-contact on Friday. The trainer made the decision he did not want him practicing contact. They took him to the other gym and worked him out shooting and practicing non-contact, but I think between the concussion and lack of practicing he wasnít prepared to play. That is why I didnít play him in the second half, we werenít getting enough out of him and probably rightfully so. He really wasnít ready to play but I figured I would throw him in there and see what he could do.Ē

 

On Vanderbilt playing better as of late

ďI think Kevin (Stallings) is really a terrific coach. I have always enjoyed watching his teams play, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. I think anytime you play a team that takes over 40 percent of their shots from behind the three-point line itís dangerous. It puts you in a lot of binds and puts you in a lot of difficult situations so defending them will be an incredible challenge. The only team I could probably liken them to and we had a difficult time against was Air Force. Where the floor is going to be spaced and they are really going to utilize the three-point line. We are going to have to do a good job there. They are really sound defensively. They are going to guard real well. I think this is a great challenge for us on both ends of the floor to be able to get good shots, to work together and then to try to eliminate three-point shots.Ē

 

What an outright SEC regular season title would mean to him

ďI donít think itís really about me. I think itís more about trying to help our guys understand what it is during a long conference schedule, what it takes to be successful. There are a lot of good teams out there. Weíve had to deal with injuries, Kentucky has dealt with injuries, and Alabama has played very good basketball all year long. I would certainly be very happy for our guys and be very proud of them. I think it would be a great accomplishment for guys like Boynton, Rosario, Murphy, Patric Young, Yeguete, and Prather. They all have been the only group of guys that have been part of two outright SEC championships during their careers. It never happened before. I think anytime there is a first, I think those guys deserve a lot of credit for that, that happens. But we still have a lot of work ahead of us before that happens.Ē

 

On Casey Prather playing multiple positions

ďCasey, I feel comfortable with that he understands all the positions. I donít worry about that. I worry about that more with Frazier. Casey, the guy has played three different positions this year. Heís come off a high ankle sprain. That could happen. I canít say at the end of the game against Alabama we wanted to play him.Ē

 

On improved rebounding in the second half against Alabama

ďAlso, our frontcourt jumping helped rebounding, too. That would be a good place for our frontcourt to start is by jumping.Ē

 

On how important it is to have everyone back on the practice

ďI think for the three guys, Kenny, Mike, and Scottie, there hasnít been a lot of depth in our backcourt. Those guys absorb a lot of minutes in games. Then obviously in practice you have to conscientious of getting Michael Frazier more reps, Braxton Ogbueze some more reps, giving those guys some rest in practice. You want Will Yeguete to get back in the flow of things. Coming out of surgery, he doesnít need to be in practice contact the whole entire time. I think the one thing that is going to help our practice is having Damontre Harris back. That helps Patric Young get prepared going against bigger people. But there are a lot of variables weíre dealing with as coaches going into every practice because sometimes you have a full allotment of players, sometimes you donít. Thatís a challenge all of the time. You have to tweak and change and as you mentioned rest some guys, more guys more reps. Then you have got to work on stuff that you want your guys that are going to be playing to go against, competitively, against opponentsí certain actions, running certain things on offense. Thereís a lot that goes into that. Then this time of year we really only have two days in between each game. This will be the first time we have faced Vanderbilt so you are starting from ground zero, from scratch. We are trying to introduce all this stuff that you want to do against Vanderbilt, trying to be successful.

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