Florida coach Billy Donovan has had success recently on the transfer market.
Vernon Macklin transferred from Georgetown and helped lead UF to an Elite Eight before becoming an NBA second-round draft pick. Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario has scored four straight games in double-figures and is currently UF’s leader in scoring at 12.9 points per game.
Donovan knows the ups and downs transfers can through during the season that they sit. But he’s been pleased with the attitude and work ethic of 2012 transfers Dorian Finney-Smith (6-8, forward, Virginia Tech) and Damontre Harris (6-10, center, South Carolina).
“This is kind like those dark days I call them, for transfers, where you are starting to get into the holidays, you are not playing any games, you’ve been practicing since September, lifting weights, doing all that stuff, never getting the reward of playing,” Donovan said. “There’s some slippage. Doe-Doe (Finney-Smith) has done a good job. He’s gotten better, he’s gotten stronger.”
The 6-foot-10 Harris underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in late October after suffering a shoulder injury the first weekend of practices.
“Damontre now is back, he had illness there, an infection his throat, he was on antibiotics there for a while, but he’s back now running on the treadmill, he’s out of the sling,” Donovan said. “I would say now once we get to the middle of January, we should be able to do a lot of stuff with him on the court. I don’t anticipate him being able to come back to practice any time soon and probably, we’ll probably keep him out, unless the doctor says something different, the entire year.”
– Florida made a strong late push, but lost out on 2013 consensus number two overall recruit Jabari Parker to Duke. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward had Florida in his final five with Duke, Michigan State, Stanford and BYU. Here’s an interesting story from SI.com on Parker’s decision-making process.
– Also on the recruiting front, 2013 center Dakari Johnson crossed Florida off his wish list. Johnson announced his final three schools — Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse — at the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Myers. The 6-foot-11 Johnson plays at Montverde Academy and had interest in UF because of high school teammate and 2013 Florida point guard signee Kasey Hill.
— Florida’s RPI is currently at 17 according to RealTimeRPI.com. UF’s strength of schedule is 60th out of 347 Division I teams.
— Scottie Wilbekin and Kenny Boynton have been named to the Cousy Award Watch list, an award given to the nation’s top college point guard.