Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mitchell Finding His Role with Florida; Sophomore Forward Is Making a Transition from Scorer to Defender

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mitchell Finding His Role with Florida; Sophomore Forward Is Making a Transition from Scorer to Defender

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

Florida coach Billy Donovan saw one good game out sophomore forward Jonathan Mitchell, but he wanted to see that on a regular basis.

He's seen it twice in a row now.

Mitchell scored just two points but grabbed seven rebounds and had two assists and one steal in 20 minutes during UF's 86-61 victory over Vermont in Tampa on Saturday. That followed his career-high 10 points, two blocks and four rebounds in the Gators' victory over Stetson last Thursday.

Now he seems to be settling into a solid role after a shaky start.

"I know he made some shots, but to me it wasn't necessarily about his shots," Donovan said. "I thought he did some other things out there. He looked more confident, he looked together. He just looked totally different [than earlier in the season].

"That's the thing that's been hard for me. Will that continue? Will there be a level of consistency with that? I don't get too carried away when these guys do really, really well. I don't carried away when sometimes they don't do well because they can come back and play well. I'm trying to get a level of consistency out of them."

Mitchell (6 feet 7, 231 pounds) played sparingly in UF's first four games as the Gators' fourth player off the bench. He scored six points against North Carolina Central and five against Rutgers before playing a season-high 18 minutes against North Florida.

Mitchell went 0 for 3 from the field and grabbed just one rebound in the Gators' 102-51 rout of the Ospreys.

That performance earned him just four minutes of playing time in UF's 65-51 loss to Florida State on Nov. 23.

Instead of pouting, though, Mitchell responded with two good practices and Donovan rewarded him with a season-high 22 minutes against Stetson.

"I always like to watch guys' body language, in particular when they don't get a chance to play a lot of minutes and he didn't play a lot against Florida State," Donovan said. …

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