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Streaking Gators coming together at favorable time

DAVID JONES Florida Today
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 08:41 PM

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GAINESVILLE -

Florida moved up two spots to No. 2 in both polls Monday, its highest ranking since March 12, 2007, when the Gators went on to win their second of back-to-back national titles.

UF received six first-place votes in the USA Today coaches poll and got seven in The Associated Press voting.

Florida was ranked 10th in both preseason polls, moved up to No. 5 on Dec. 10 but fell out of the Top 10 later that month after road losses against Arizona and Kansas State.

With such a high ranking, the Gators (18-2, 8-0 SEC) will have targets on their backs, starting with tonight's road game against Arkansas, which is 13-1 at home this season.

"I think now for sure every team is going to give us their best shot,'' Gators center Patric Young said. "Getting more recognition means that we have to be ready for everybody bringing their best shot at us. Saying that we're this or we're that, none of that stuff really matters. We've just got to take care of what we can control coming in and trying to get better each and every day.''

Head coach Billy Donovan certainly has made it a point to his team that, no matter the record or ranking, this isn't a finished product.

"We have plenty of stuff to work on. That's never a problem,'' he said. "I just think it's a constant every single day … you have a choice to make every day you walk out there. You can either get better or work to get better, or you can come in with the attitude of … it's always human nature to want to be complacent to not want to work, to maybe not want to be focused."

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said defense is what separates the Gators from most teams.

"I think they trust one another,'' he said. "I think in basketball trust is so big on offense and defense. I think something breaks down in one department you're going to have, whether it be Patric Young coming over or Erik Murphy coming over to block a shot or take a charge. They just read off one another.

"I think their chemistry is really, really coming together and it's coming together at the right time. They could be the top team in the country really if you look at what they've done."

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