No. 18 Florida not counting on guard Eli Carter, forward Dorian Finney-Smith in Bahamas

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Florida guard Eli Carter, center, sits on the Florida bench next to Alex Murphy, left, with his foot in a cast during an NCAA college basketball game against Louisiana-Monroe in Gainesville, Fla., Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)


GAINESVILLE, Florida — Florida coach Billy Donovan expects to have just six scholarship players available in the Bahamas.

Although guard Eli Carter and forward Dorian Finney-Smith are making the trip to Paradise Island, Donovan isn't counting on either to play.

"I really don't know with those guys," Donovan said Monday. "My feeling right now going into this we're going to basically have the team we had playing against Louisiana-Monroe. That's how I'm going into it right now, how I'm approaching it."

The 18th-ranked Gators (2-1), who dropped 10 spots in the Top 25, open the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament against Georgetown on Wednesday night.

Carter and Finney-Smith are expected to dress for the game, but it's unclear whether he will be able to play. Neither has been cleared to even practice.

Carter sprained his left foot in practice last week and missed Friday's overtime win against Louisiana-Monroe. Finney-Smith has missed the last two games with hairline fractures in the index and middle fingers on his left hand.

Carter has done work on a stationary bike and an elliptical, trying to maintain conditioning, Donovan said. But he has done any cutting or running on his injured foot.

Finney-Smith is still feeling pain, and his availability will come down to tolerance.

"He's got two broken bones in his hand, so it's not a situation where you're looking at it and saying, 'Geez, this guy just needs to play through some pain.' I think it's very, very difficult right now for him to catch, to dribble. And I think when the ball does come to him, I think that's a problem. I think going up to rebound is a problem. So where does he get to a point where he feels like the pain is manageable?

"He's going to be playing with pain for some significant time, That's definitely going to happen. Now how long it takes for him to be totally pain-free, I don't know. But he's going to have a brace on his hand definitely for a few weeks."

The Gators are concerned that Finney-Smith catching the ball and banging his hand against opponents could create more swelling and a longer healing process.

"That's something we're trying to avoid right now," Donovan said. "That's why we have not thrown him in practice."

If Carter and Finney-Smith can't play, Florida would be left with six scholarship players for the second consecutive game. And the starting lineup likely would include freshman Devin Robinson, transfer Jon Horford and walk-on Jacob Kurtz.

The Gators really struggled Friday, getting down by 12 points early and then squandering an eight-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation. A lot of it had to do with missing two starters and two of the team's top three scorers.

Carter is averaging 14.5 points a game, and Finney-Smith had 15 points and five rebounds in the season opener.

"You're taking 30 points basically off the floor, which is fine, but I didn't think we functioned well as a unit offensively," Donovan said. "I think there have been some times when we had some injuries, like last year, and some suspensions, and we were kind of able work around that because I think guys had a real good cerebral understanding of what we're doing.

"I didn't feel like we had that understanding Friday."

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