UF Fall Leads to 'Cat Calls; Gators Say They Deserve Criticism after Way They Lost to Kentucky

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union

GAINESVILLE -- David Lee had a tough time on Wednesday.

As he walked around Florida's campus less than 24 hours after the Gators blew a double-digit, second-half lead and failed to score in the final three minutes in a 68-65 loss to Kentucky, Lee had to listen to students criticize the Gators' performance.

And as much as he wanted to argue, he knew he couldn't. The students were right. The Gators did blow that game -- and Lee took a lot of that upon himself.

"I'm not going to lie to you, that was a very tough loss," Lee said as the No. 21 Gators (13-6, 4-4 SEC) prepared for today's home game against Vanderbilt (14-4, 3-4). "If you look at the replay of the game, we really did dominate those guys. It came down to the end, and our guys played -- and this is me more than maybe anybody else on the whole team -- not to lose rather than to win and blow these guys out of the building."

Florida coach Billy Donovan said the Gators played scared down the stretch. Instead of becoming aggressive, they kept hoping the clock would run out before Kentucky could finish its run.

"Your mentality in situations like that is to want to put more time on the clock. You've got to want to keep playing," Donovan said. "You cannot be looking up hoping time runs out and you're winning. It was almost like [Christian] Drejer, [Anthony] Roberson, [Matt] Walsh and Lee were all kind of waiting for the other guy to step up and do it. They've got to do it collectively as a group."

It wasn't almost like that. It was like that, Lee said.

"Anthony was waiting for Matt to make a play. Matt was waiting for me to make a play. I was waiting for Christian to make a play."

Donovan said he was surprised that the team would play that way, especially since they didn't against Alabama on the road in an 88-78 victory on Jan. 27. The Crimson Tide took a one-point lead with about six minutes to play, but UF rallied behind Roberson, who scored nine of his 26 points after that point. …