The Florida Gators offense has become a major part of the program’s recent struggles and may get even worse after head coach Billy Donovan announced the suspension of forward Dorian Finney-Smith. Earlier this season, the Gators lost leading scorer Michael Frazier II, and since then, the team has been almost incapable of putting the ball in the bottom of the net. The one glimmer of hope was Finney-Smith, who had taken over the top offensive option, but off the court problems prevented him from staying on the court. This is Finney-Smith’s second suspension for an “unspecified violation of team rules” and could be a sign of a much larger problem.
Finney-Smith had been averaging 12.9 points and a team leading 5.8 rebounds per game, and losing their star junior could almost eliminate them from any post-season tournament. After a string of strong NCAA Tournament appearances, the constant issues throughout the 2014-15 campaign have the Gators on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament, and would require a fantastic SEC Tournament run to qualify for the “Big Dance.” Coach Donovan addressed the problems following the team’s win over the Vanderbilt Commodores.
“I think it has been a microcosm of this season with our team in what I would say is a lack of commitment and a lack of consistency of what really goes into winning,” said Donovan.
“One of the questions that comes to my mind this year is can you force someone to be committed? And thinking about it, commitment is one of the most difficult things in life,” Donovan said. “To commit your heart, mind, soul, body, everything means something. I think that really is very, very difficult to do. I believe it’s the only way you can be successful. “Dorian’s decisions represent a lack of commitment.”
Donovan will re-evaluate Finney-Smith’s status on Monday and will determine how long he will be forced to sit.
*Section Photo credit to Sam Greenwood, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Dennis Wierzbicki, USA Today Sports