Gators’ coach says UK poised for shot at title
Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:00 pm
By COLIN FLY
AP Sports Writer
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Florida coach Billy Donovan handicapped what could be the national title game in April.
The most intriguing matchup? Kentucky against Syracuse.
“If you’re looking at talent, I think Kentucky has clearly six guys who are going to be first-round picks on their team. I don’t know that Syracuse has six first-round draft picks, but they have really, really good talent and they have incredible length,” said Donovan, who won national titles in 2006 and ’07. “It would be a heck of a game.”
After a 78-58 loss to the Wildcats on Tuesday night, the Gators have faced the top three teams in the poll — Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State — all on the road. Donovan’s take is that Wildcats have the moxie to cut down the nets.
“The one thing I like about their team is I love their disposition on the floor,” he said. “There’s a certain disposition you have to have and I’m not talking about an arrogance or a cockiness, but there’s like a focus level in terms of what really goes into winning at that level. There’s a mentality there.”
It’s helped the Wildcats (24-1, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) win 16 in a row and keep coach John Calipari a perfect 48-0 at Rupp Arena since taking over in April 2009 with the Wildcats winning their last 49 home games.
“We have this little swagger,” said freshman Anthony Davis, who had 16 points.
Kentucky’s goal from the start was to win an eighth national championship after losing to eventual champion Connecticut in the Final Four last year.
The Wildcats reloaded with Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague.
Add in sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, senior Darius Miller and a fourth freshman, Kyle Wiltjer, and Kentucky is one of the country’s youngest teams and also one of the most talented.
Published in The Messenger 2.8.12