Billy Donovan trying to keep his players from becoming complacent
Florida has moved up to No. 6 in this week's AP basketball rankings, and is No. 5 in the coaches poll - the Gators' highest ranking since 1997.
The Gators are 6-0 as they prepare to play at Florida State on Wednesday night, but what may be most surprising is how Florida has earned those victories.
The Gators have been playing outstanding defense, holding four of its six opponents under 50 points this season. And Florida has limited its opponent to 26 points or fewer in 10 of 12 halves this season.
So with the way the Gators are dominating, it might be easy to start thinking they are pretty good, which is what coach Billy Donovan is trying hard to guard against.
"There’s a fine line in understanding who we are,'' Donovan said. "You win a game by a large margin and you come back to practice the next day and it ends up being a mindset of 'We’ve got this figured out and we know what we’re doing.' And that’s where I think slippage starts to occur. So we’ve talked about that a lot. Everything that’s happened up to this point and time is really all in the past. There’s no question that Florida State will play a great game, and hopefully we’ll play our best game of the year ourselves. But I’ve spent a lot of time here since (last) Thursday, not that I’ve seen any complacency, but they need to guard against it. When you’re walking around and people are telling you how great you are, what we did to Wisconsin and Marquette and all this other stuff, I just tell them there’s nothing there that helps them become better players. If anything, it causes complacency, causes you to have some slippage. And we’ve got to eliminate that because we’re not good enough to have a lot of slippage and still win."
The Florida players said while they are pleased with the early-season success, but they arent' getting caught up in the rankings hype.
"We’ve been pretty high in other years,'' junior forward Will Yeguete said. "My freshman year I think we were No. 4 or No. 3. Last year we went pretty high. I've learned not to worry about it, just come prepared every single game and just be ready to work hard every single day."