Gators showing confidence and maturity in late-game situations
The Gators' 66-65 win over Alabama on the road Thursday night is evidence the Gators, particularly sophomore point guard Erving Walker, are becoming more mature and confident in those late-game situations with the outcome on the line, UF coach Billy Donovan said.
"I think for some players, you try to teach it and coach it and try to help them, but there's certain guys that have a level of confidence and just know what they need to do,'' Donovan said. "We've had a lot of games like that, but the last thing I want our team to feel is that we've got it all figured out. We kind of need to stay in a reaction mode of what's going on.''
Donovan said having older players in the frontcourt, - senior Dan Werner and juniors Alex Tyus and Vernon Macklin - has been helpful for his youthful backcourt.
"Certain guys are different in those situations,'' he said. "Why do some guys get more tense and hyper in those situations and other guys are calmer? I think Erving's disposition is he's a guy who stays on a pretty even keel. . . . In a situation like that you want him to be calm, and he is calm. . . I think our guys have gotten mentally and physically tougher, and that's probably through some maturity.''
Florida (16-6, 5-3 SEC) will host Mississippi State (16-6, 4-3) Saturday afternoon at 1:30.