OKLAHOMA CITY — Florida coach Billy Donovan will likely use his most athletic guard, Kenny Boynton, as the primary defender on BYU's Jimmer Fredette, but he told reporters Wednesday that the job will be a team-wide project.
Florida (21-12) plays BYU (29-5) Thursday in the Ford Center in the first game of the NCAA Tournament nationwide here at the West Regional.
Boynton is a 6-foot-2 freshman shooting guard and he'll be the first line of defense as Florida will likely not place that responsibility on Erving Walker, the Gators' 5-8 point guard.
Fredette has seen three-quarter court defenses, double teams, traps and even triple teams this season.
"Kenny is a good defender," said Donovan. "Fredette has seen the best defenders on everybody's team. It's not going to be Kenny Boynton's job to stop him. We got to do it collectively as a team and what makes them so unique and him so special in my opinion is he does it in a lot of different ways. He shoots threes, he gets fouled, he passes it, and then they have other people around that are really, good players."
Boynton and Walker combined for 42 points in the Gators' last outing and are first and second on the team in scoring, with Boynton leading the Gators with 67 treys, eight shy of the freshman record.
Chandler Parsons, a 6-9 wing player said the Gators have worked on defending the three since the SEC tournament, where they struggled to contain Mississippi State from beyond the arc.
"We worked pretty much every day on that," said Parsons. "They advance the ball and shoot 3-pointers at a very high rate. They're similar to Auburn and Mississippi State. They really get them up there and really shoot well.
"We've got our work cut out for us," he continued. "They're a different team, really high IQ, and just a well-coached team. Taking away the 3-point line and getting back in transition is going to be huge for us."
Dan Werner, a 6-8 forward who comes off the bench, said the Cougars are different than SEC teams who drive it and kick out passes to shooters. "These guys pass the ball a lot more than putting the ball on the floor. So that was a big key, throw it in the post and cut around the post. That's what we worked on a lot."
GATOR BAIT: Florida is making it's 15th NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2007, when the Gators won the second of back-to-back national titles. Three of Florida's Final Four appearances have been under Donovan ... Florida has won 12 straight NCAA tourney games, the last loss in 2005 ... BYU has won both previous meetings with Florida, the latest in 1991 ... The Gators are 22-7 in the NCAA Tournament under Donovan.