Gators try to rebound tonight against Radford
The Florida men's basketball team will take the court tonight, two days after a stunning loss to Jacksonville University, hoping to rebound quickly.
The No. 20 Gators will host Radford at 7 p.m. in the O'Connell Center.
Radford returns only one starter from its team that went 19-12 last year, having also lost Big South Player of the Year center Art Parakhousi to graduation. Parakhousi led the nation in rebounding with 13.4 rpg. The Highlanders enter tonight’s game with a 2-8 record and are on an eight-game losing streak. Johnathan Edwards leads the team in rebounding at 5.6 rpg, while Gorkem Sonmez leads the team in scoring with 9.9 ppg. The Highlanders are coming off a 64-50 defeat to UNC Wilmington whom the Gators beat in the season opener.
But as Florida coach Billy Donovan can tell you so well, none of that means as much as it should with these Gators.
Florida has not been able to put together a consistent full game. In the past two games, the Gators have had 26 turnovers and five assists in the first half and averaged 23.5 points. In the second half of those two games, they’ve had 15 assists and eight turnovers, averaging 35.5 points.
It’s those Jekyll and Hyde–type performances that have Donovan frustrated and concerned as the Gators enter the final stretch before SEC play begins.
“I think the one thing that happens during the course of the season is you’re dealing with either prosperity or adversity,’’ Donovan said. “And we’re dealing with adversity. Our guys handle adversity pretty well. They really are a resilient group. They bounce back pretty quickly, they fight, they try to get better, they try to improve. But in order to be a great, great team you have to be able to handle the prosperity because if you’re really good, that means you’re winning a lot. And we have not been that team. I think the word that was used before the season was ‘optimistically cautious.’ I think you know why I’m optimistically cautious. And I’m probably not even optimistic now, I’m really cautious.’’