Kentucky All-American candidate Patrick Patterson acknowledged that he used to daydream about what it would have been like had he committed to Florida.
"My freshman year, I thought about what if I played for this team, Florida, Duke," he said on Friday. "As I continued on throughout the years, game by game, day by day, I started thinking less of that."
Patterson's low-post strength has been a missing ingredient at Florida the past three seasons.
When asked if Patterson would have made a big difference at Florida, Coach Billy Donovan said, "He would have been a great player for Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, Wake Forest. Wherever he would have went to school he would have been a terrific player.
"It would be like saying right now what would have happened if Al Horford went to Michigan? He would have been a great player at Michigan. There are just certain guys that have that kind of ability and quality. When they are in a situation, they find a way."
Florida big man Vernon Macklin has scored 10 or more points in four straight games, averaging 16.5 points in that span.
"I think he's really grown up in a lot of ways," Donovan said. "I think there was really a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, to start the year. ... I think he's growing right now. And like I told him, really, really good players, they do it. If there's 10 games, they are going to have one or two of those 10 where they don't play well. Not five. Not half good, half bad."
The days of a Kentucky-Florida three-point duel seem long gone. Going into the game, Florida is tied for eighth (5.7) and UK is 11th (5.5) in three-point baskets per league game.
In terms of three-point accuracy, Florida ranks seventh (32.8 percent) and UK 11th (29.4 percent) in league play.
"Shooting is really the one thing in the game of basketball that probably requires more mental than physical," Donovan said.
Alex Tyus hasn't made a three-pointer since hitting two against UK in January.
Erving Walker has made six of 24 attempts in the past six games. Chandler Parsons has made six of 19 in the past seven games. Dan Werner is shooting 25.7 percent from three-point range this season.
"I don't think there is anything you can say or do to prepare them for the crowd," Donovan said of the Cat-mosphere he expects in Rupp Arena. "Instead of sitting there and saying that we have to get prepared for the noise, I think the biggest thing about the noise in there is just making sure our five guys on the floor are on the same page as they are playing. I think that will be important. ... They are going to have to make sure that they are all on the same page, whether it's defensively, offensively, underneath, out of bounds, side out of bounds. They are going to have to communicate pretty well with each other."
Parsons on Cousins
Florida junior Chandler Parsons, who needs 15 points to reach 1,000 for his career, spoke highly of DeMarcus Cousins.
"I think he's the best big man in the country," Parsons said. "He's skilled, strong, athletic. I think he's one of the best in the country."
Recruiting analyst Evan Daniels of Scout.com noted that UK had lined up several prospects for visits on Senior Day. Those include Enes Kanter, who will be taking his official visit, plus junior standouts Michael Gilchrist, Quincy Miller, Marquis Teague and Deuce Bello.
Miller said on his Twitter account that he planned to visit Louisville for the game against Syracuse on Saturday before attending the UK-Florida game on Sunday.
Donovan, the dean of SEC coaches in his 14th season with Florida, is the fifth-winningest coach in league history. Only Adolph Rupp (UK), Dale Brown (LSU), Harry Rabenhorst (LSU) and C.M. Newton (Alabama/Vanderbilt) have won more games coaching SEC teams than Donovan's 330. ... Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel will call the game for CBS.