The Florida Gator men’s basketball team took care of business against Division II Barry University with a 79-70 victory in a preseason exhibition on Thursday.
Redshirt junior Eli Carter led the way with 21 points (including 5-for-9 on three pointers). The Rutgers transfer missed the majority of last season to rehab a leg injury.
“It felt great to be out there with my teammates,” said Carter. “It felt great to out there for myself knowing that all the work that I put in paid off. It was a long, strong process so I’m excited to be back out there.”
Junior Michael Frazier II, the team’s lone returning starter, added 15 points but he was cold from behind the arc (only 3-for-12 on three pointers). Dorian Finney-Smith contributed with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Freshmen Devin Robinson and Chris Chiozza made their debuts in front of the Gator faithful. Robinson struggled offensively – scoring only five points on 2-for-10 shooting and missing his first eight shots. On the other hand, Chiozza added four points and three assists as he made some heads turn with flashes of great defensive potential.
Regardless of the win, Gator coach Billy Donovan was clearly disappointed with the defensive effort from his squad.
“I’m much, much concerned about Michael Frazier’s defense, Eli Carter’s defense, (and) Devin Robinson’s defense,” said Donovan. “There were certainly some guys that really stood out that (poorly defensively) and we’ve got to get a lot better.”
The Gators allowed Barry to attempt 26 three-pointers. A year ago, Florida only allowed 5.3 attempts per game.
Barry was also able to keep its loss in the single-digits. The Bucs played Louisville last Saturday and lost by 20.
“The offensive part is easy,” Donovan explained. “I’m a little bit more concerned about our resiliency and our perseverance on the defensive end of the floor in terms of collectively being able to defend.”
The Gators will open their regular season next Friday at the O’Dome when they host William & Mary at 6:00 p.m.
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