Boynton in reach of career scoring mark

Boynton hasn't started strong this year

The shooting slump for senior guard Kenny Boynton has been a big part of his final year, but he's still in good position to make a run at the school's career scoring record by the end of the season. Boynton moved up the list on Saturday when he passed Udonis Haslem for third place. With 16 regular season games left to go before the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament, Boynton has a chance.

Saturday's 20-point performance in a win over LSU pushed Kenny Boynton to 1,782 career points. In the game, he passed Erving Walker (1,777 points) and Udonis Haslem (1,781 points) to more up to third on the all-time scoring list at Florida.

Ronnie Williams holds the school record with 2,090 total points from 1981-84. In order to break that number, Boynton needs to average 17.2 points per game over the final 18 games, assuming that Florida makes it to the SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament. However, playing any more than one game in either tournament would make that average drop.

Boynton has been the first to admit his career hasn't gone as he planned when he graduated high school. Before the season, the senior said he never would have imagined being on campus for four years.

But he's here and has a chance to break records.

His head coach doesn't think there's anything wrong with that, either. It's a stigma about four-year college players that Donovan wishes didn't exist.

"In today's day and age, everything is about the NBA. And I understand why," Donovan said. "I was no different than any player across the country of wanting to get to the NBA. I also think maybe there has been a change of philosophy as it relates to individual players. If you don't get to the NBA as quickly or as fast as possible, or you don't make it in the NBA, people have a tendency to forget a guy's college career and experience."

Boynton's career has been about bringing the Florida program back to the top. He came to Gainesville after the program experienced back-to-back seasons in the NIT. The Gators went to the NCAA Tournament during Boynton's freshman year before making it to back-to-back Elite Eights during the last two seasons.

These are the things Donovan wants Boynton to be remembered for. He came to Gainesville as a five-star recruit with the thought of the Gators potentially having a one-and-done player. Instead, Boynton has stayed in Gainesville for four years. And Donovan wants to make sure the perception of that is something that's okay and acceptable.

"Not only does he have those individual accomplishments that he's chasing after, but he's affected winning a lot for our program," Donovan said. "Regardless of what his future holds at the next level, I want for him to be able to walk through this experience and say ‘You know what, I got better as a player. We won at Florida and I'm proud of that accomplishment.'

"They almost look at as like it's a disappointment because they are not doing it in the NBA for a 10-year career. Certainly I hope for all of our players that they play in the NBA, and we've got a lot of them up there doing that. But I think hopefully Kenny, not only as this milestone, but he'll look at the fact that, you know what, he had an incredible career at Florida and he'll have great, great pride in that and he'll have a great sense of satisfaction. I hope he does."

TEAM REBOUNDING WELL: The Gators outrebounded LSU by 19 on Saturday and have rebounded well this season. It was a concern coming into the season with Brad Beal heading to the NBA after last season, but the Gators have found ways to fill in for the rebounds he pulled down last season.

Scottie Wilbekin's suspension early in the season played a big part of it. It forced Florida to use a starting lineup with Erik Murphy, Will Yeguete and Patric Young on the floor together, a much bigger lineup that was more active on the glass.

"Across the front line with Murphy, Young and Yeguette that's our best rebounding team across the front line," Donovan said. "So that's helped us rebound the ball well.

The emergence of Michael Frazier on the glass has also helped. With Beal and Erving Walker, who wasn't a factor in rebounding, leaving the team after last season, Frazier has stepped in and been active on the glass. He is averaging 3.3 rebounds in 17.6 minutes this year and has been active without the ball in his hands.

"Mike Frazier has proved to be a better rebounder then maybe anybody has anticipated," Donovan said. :Same thing could be said Brad Beal a year ago. I didn't know how Brad would be able to come in and rebound the ball in comparison to what Chandler Parsons did the year before. But Frazier has proven when he goes to the small forward spot, he's a good rebounder. He had seven rebounds in the game against LSU, so that's been something that's helped us."

The third piece of the rebounding this season has been Casey Prather. He'll be out against Texas A&M and Missouri this week, but his slashing ability has been tough for opponents to matchup with. He's athletic enough to play small forward but still has the size to stick at power forward when the Gators need him.

Prather is averaging 3.3 rebounds in 15.5 minutes this season.

"A&M is a really, really good rebounding team, so with Casey being out that even becomes that much more of a point of emphasis for us because Casey has been playing the small forward and he's played the power forward spot," Donovan said. "This will a game where we could be big some against A&M with Yeguette, Murphy and Young, but also could be a game where we have three guards out there."

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