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HOOPS: Chasing greatness

 

GAINESVILLE -- No. 1 Florida clinched the Southeastern Conference league title before February ended -- its third outright championship in four years -- but these Gators' goals are far from complete.

They're striving for greatness.

Florida is in the midst of a 20-game winning streak and UF coach Billy Donovan's thematic message has been received, absorbed and echoed like a pirate's parrot.

Not even Jay-Z and LeBron talk about greatness as much as Florida's players.

"We’re trying to chase greatness," sophomore shooting guard Michael Frazier II said. "We’re not settling for this. We still have a game tomorrow, and that’s what we’re focusing on. It’s great to have [SEC league title] honor. But we still have a lot of things to accomplish. We still have a lot of goals."

Added forward Dorian Finney-Smith: "Every play, moment by moment, every possession you've got to strive for greatness. Take care of the ball, just do everything right. … We're just trying to strive for greatness. We're thinking about bigger things."

Earlier in the week, Donovan downplayed his team's No. 1 ranking and on Friday he acknowledged -- despite the league title -- UF's quest for a national championship is just getting started.

"I’m really, really proud of them, but I still think there’s more out there in front of us that we have a chance and opportunity to go out and try to chase," Donovan said.

“The league is not over. We still have three games remaining. We’re playing against a very, very talented, very good team in LSU tomorrow afternoon. I think our guys certainly set out to compete for an SEC championship in early January but at the same point, the season’s not over. We’ve got three games left to be played. Our guys have done a good job up to this point in time of staying focused and going through the process of getting prepared for each game and I don’t think this game is any different for us in terms of you want to continue playing well. … In a week or maybe a little bit longer the SEC Tournament will start, the post season will start, so this is something where we’re playing against some good teams and we have an opportunity to keep moving in that direction. I still think there is a lot out there in front of our team.”

The Gators host the Tigers on Saturday at 4 p.m. on CBS.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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