Florida coach Billy Donovan wrapped up his preseason speaking tour Tuesday night at the Southwest Florida Gator Club in Fort Myers.
Here’s some of what Donovan had to say before his speaking engagement:
— On new players stepping into starting roles: “You know, a guy like Chris Walker comes in mid-semester last year and plays 5-7 minutes a game, gets in there very, very sparingly and he’s going to have an opportunity to play more. Kasey Hill kind of backed up Scottie Wilbekin last year, came in and had some really good moments and had some learning experience growing moments as a freshman. Can he handle a primary role like that?
“Dorian Finney-Smith came off the bench played a pretty big role for us, played significant minutes, but he had his ups and downs as well. I think the biggest thing is all of our guys coming back, there was never any level of consistency in terms of performance. There were signs. There were some very, very bright spots of what they could be and can be. But they have to be able to do it on a consistent basis night in and night out.”
– on losing four seniors and swingman DeVon Walker for the season with a torn ACL: “”Losing four seniors and now DeVon being hurt, hopefully our guys were able to learn some very, very valuable experiences from those four guys.
“Those four guys lost three times in the Elite Eight. That’s difficult. They kind of went through their ups and downs as well. Scottie Wilbekin being suspended and going through difficulty. It’s part of growing as a team. That’s the biggest concern I have is really the unknown. We have a great group of kids and they’ll work very, very hard, but there’s an unknown on their level of consistency.”