Robinson’s improved play has Gators streaking to Lexington

Florida forward Devin Robinson defends a shot by South Carolina forward Sedee Keita during the first half Tuesday at the O’Connell Center. Florida won 81-66. [AP Photo/Matt Stamey] Florida junior forward Devin Robinson set a goal before the season to become a more complete player on both ends of the floor.

Who: No. 13 Florida (23-5, 13-2) vs. No. 11 Kentucky (23-5, 13-2)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.

TV: CBS

Radio: 103.7-FM

It was how Robinson regained his starting job this season.

Robinson’s improved defensive intensity was on display during UF’s 81-66 win over South Carolina on Tuesday night at Exactech Arena. The 6-foot-8, 200-pound Robinson threw his body around to make impact plays throughout the game. Robinson finished with three blocked shots, two steals and six defensive rebounds to go with his 14 points.

Robinson said he was locked in defensively from the start of the game and added urgency to compensate inside for the loss of starting center John Egbunu.

“We just knew we had to play real good defense today, defend and rebound,” Robinson said. “I took it upon myself that I had to do a little more since we lost the big fella, John. It was still collective team defense. It was really big for us, though.”

Robinson showed his willingness to sacrifice his body in the first half when he took a blow to the chest to draw a South Carolina offensive foul.

“Defensively, he’s really bought in this year and you can tell,” Florida junior point guard Chris Chiozza said. “He’s guarding the best player on the other team some games, rebounding the ball great, better than he has the last two years. I think he just really wants it more now.”

All three of Robinson’s blocks came within the first 14 minutes of the game and set a tone that South Carolina wasn’t going to get easy shots close to the rim. Unfortunately, this article is either no longer in our system or is in a different location.To find additional or related content, you can check out latest articles or use our site search function above.Thank you.