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Florida fearful, fearless about Duke matchup

By JOANNE KORTH

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 24, 2000


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan says the Gators must be fearful and fearless to have a chance of beating Duke in today's East Region semifinal.

Uh, operator?

"There's two things," Donovan said. "You have to play fearless basketball. And that doesn't mean crazy; it means you cannot be afraid to shoot or to make a play. You cannot play not to lose.

"But our guys also need to play with a sense of urgency and a sense of fear that something could be taken away from them. If you lose, you go home. You have to be on edge every single minute. There has to be a fear factor."

Donovan said the Gators were able to combine both concepts last weekend in victories against Butler and Illinois. "We need to keep it up," he said.

HOLLOWAY QUESTIONABLE: Seton Hall point guard Shaheen Holloway is working hard to reduce the swelling in his sprained left ankle, but he was not sure Thursday if he would be able to play tonight against Oklahoma State.

A decision was to be made at game time.

"We've got some nice progress going on, so I'll keep working with my trainer," said Holloway, injured in the first half of the Pirates' second-round win against No. 2 seed Temple. "It's really up in the air."

Filling in for Holloway, backup Ty Shine scored a career-high 26 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 18.9 seconds left in the 67-65 overtime victory. He was expected to start.

STRANGE TWIST: Florida freshman guard Justin Hamilton twisted his right ankle during drills in practice but said the sprain would not hinder him today. Hamilton has started the past four games and is a key element in UF's full-court pressure.

IDENTITY CRISIS: After Florida's one-hour practice, Donovan was stopped on his way to the locker room by a Carrier Dome security guard who didn't recognize him. "I wasn't wearing my pin, and the guy was just doing his job," Donovan said. "That doesn't bother me. We're not Duke or North Carolina or Kansas playing in our 40th consecutive NCAA Tournament. We're in our seventh. We have to earn our respect."

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