The Florida Gators will take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in a match up of teams trending in opposite directions at the O’Connell Center tonight.
The Gators (12-13) head into tonight’s contest having lost four straight games, and are winless in February. Florida’s losing streak started with a loss against the Commodores (14-11) in Nashville two weeks ago.
Vandy used the victory against Florida to turn things around, as they’ve won three of four games since the win over the Gators after having lost seven in a row prior.
Michael Frazier II is expected to be out again tonight. The junior guard injured his ankle in Florida’s loss to Kentucky, and has missed the last two games as a result. Gator coach Billy Donovan is preparing his team to be without Frazier for the near future.
“We’ve got to play games and compete to the best of our ability with the understanding that he’s not going to be available for probably two to four more games,” Donovan said.
Frazier’s injury is just the latest of many for Florida, as the Gators have lost nearly every key contributor to an injury at some point this season. However, Donovan is unwilling to blame injuries for Florida’s disappointing year.
“I’ve just always believed that injuries are a part of the game,” Donovan said. “You know, we had to deal with some of that stuff last year, (and) we’ve had to deal with some of that stuff this year. I think as a coach, when you’ve got a really, really good player out, you have to move forward. I think we as coaches always deal with a lot of different injuries. Certainly you’d like your full compliment of players to be available every single game, but that’s not always the luxury.”
Florida’s most recent defeat came at the hands of Texas A&M on Saturday. The Gators lost 63-62, their second straight loss by just one point, making them to 2-6 in games decided by two points or less. Again, Donovan is not going to make any excuses for his team.
“I believe that you put yourself in position, if you want to use the word lucky, to be lucky,” Donovan said. “I think if you go back, and certainly I’ve analyzed all of those games, you go back and look at them, it’s always been someone from the other team who’s made a shot against us.”
The Gators will try to get back on track tonight at 7, with coverage beginning at 6:25 on Country 103.7 The Gator.
Click below to listen to Coach Donovan’s comments: