Gators knocking on the door to No. 1 - WFLA News Channel 8

Gators knocking on the door to No. 1

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Florida men's basketball coach, Billy Donovan, admits he is all about the process, even before the sum. And don't even think about asking Donovan about his team's place in the rankings.

But like it or not, Donovan's Gators find themselves in the title talk, as February begins the countdown to basketball's favorite month.

The Florida Gators rose to No. 2 in this week's Associated Press Top 25, it's highest ranking this season. And the way the musical chairs of No. 1 has played lately, don't be surprised to see the Gators assume that spot should their recent play continue.

"It's always human nature to want to be complacent, to not want to work, to maybe not be focused.", said Donovan on Monday. "You're always taking yourself out of your comfort zone."

Lately, the No. 1 ranking is not exactly the comfort zone. Indiana returns to the top of the poll for the first time since it's five week run to begin the season.

How long the Hoosiers stay there is another story.

A different team has held the No. 1 ranking the past five weeks beginning with Duke, then Louisville, Duke again, Michigan, and now Indiana.

The Gators meanwhile have steadily risen in the top 10, watching teams drop. The latest victims, previously top-ranked Michigan, which fell to Indiana over the weekend. That was combined with No. 2 Kansas falling at home to Oklahoma State.

In Monday's poll, the Hoosiers grabbed 58 of the 65 first place votes. The Gators took the other 7.

But votes and rankings mean nothing in early February, at least in Donovan's world.

His focus is on team play. Players using talents to help out in areas that are "out of your comfort zone."

Players like Erik Murphy, who scored 19 points in Saturday's win over 16th ranked Mississippi. But it was a steal and a pair of blocked shots that altered the opponent's offense. Defense is one of the challenges of Murphy's game.

"You're trying to get a level of consistency," Donovan said. "But you're never going to have consistency unless they are focused on trying to get better."

The Gators carry a 10 game winning streak into Tuesday night's game at Arkansas. All 10 of those wins are by double digits.

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