Humphrey out at least one week


Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Florida expected to come into tonight's game at Ole Miss with one starter still hobbled.
Injury woes compounded Monday. With starting guard Lee Humphrey out at least a week with a separated left shoulder, Florida comes into tonight's nationally televised game against the Rebels thin with just eight scholarship players.
Starting forward Corey Brewer remains questionable with a right ankle sprain, leaving open the possibility of Florida starting freshman guards Walter Hodge and David Huertas in the same game.
"Our options are getting smaller and slimmer," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "You either have to start two freshmen in Hodge or Huertas, or we have to see where Corey is at. Maybe a third option would be to start big."
Humphrey, who leads the SEC in 3-point accuracy at 49.6 percent, injured the shoulder after taking a spill on his bike after practice Sunday afternoon. His front tire hit a curb after misreading a grade on the road he was cycling on.
"Lee has been riding a bike since he was four years old, so it was a shock," Humphrey's mother, Macheala, said Monday. "It was just a freak accident."
Humphrey has made all 20 starts for Florida this season, averaging 10.9 points and 2.2 assists. The shoulder injury was diagnosed as a grade-three separation (six being the most severe) and will likely sideline him 1-3 weeks.
Humphrey is right-handed, so the injury probably won't affect his shooting as much as other aspects of his game. Donovan, who considers Humphrey his most consistent defender, said his loss also will be felt on the defensive side.
"I really feel bad for Lee, because Lee is a good kid," Donovan said. "He is one guy who is so conscientious in the way he lives his life. He eats correctly, he gets to bed early and he is at every tutor and every study hall. He is such a perfect kid in a lot of ways. For him, it bothers me as a coach that he can't be out there."
Hodge, who made his first career start Saturday against Vanderbilt, will likely fill in at the two-guard spot until Humphrey returns. Hodge started for Brewer on Saturday, finishing with 9 points and 2 assists.
Brewer, who played 17 minutes off the bench Saturday, said he's at about 85 percent. Brewer said he would leave it up to the coaching staff if he starts or not. On Saturday, Brewer asked out of the starting lineup because he didn't feel like he could help the team effectively.
"It's Coach's decision now," Brewer said. "I feel like I'm ready to go."
If Brewer's ankle flares up today, it could open up the opportunity for the 6-foot-4 Huertas to make his first career start. Huertas, like Humphrey, has shown the ability to knock down the 3 this season and had one of his best all-around games 10 days ago at Tennessee.
"The biggest thing for David is to make good decisions and play very hard," Donovan said. "There are some games, athletically, where what David can do is stretch the defense and really shoot it. So, we have to make sure in this game (Ole Miss) that we have him in the right match-up situation because they have so much quickness."
Hodge has also been shooting well of late, hitting 15 of his last 21 from the floor and 9 of his last 13 from 3-point range in his last four games.
"They've come along since the beginning of practice," starting point guard Taurean Green said. "You can tell Walter is starting to feel a little more comfortable with his role. David, he's starting to feel a little more comfortable. They are going to have to step up and do a little bit more."
The rest of the team will need to adjust on the road, where the Gators are 1-2 in the SEC this season.
"It's not one guy," Donovan said. "The emphasis seems to be on David Huertas. If I have to rely on David Huertas to pick up for Lee Humphrey tonight, we've got problems, major problems. It's our basketball team."

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