Donovan could rest Macklin tonight against FAU


Published: Monday, November 22, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.

Senior center Vernon Macklin made it through Florida's first four games at less than 100 percent.

Facts

Gameday info

Who: No. 16 Florida Gators (3-1) vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (3-2)

When: Tonight, 7

Where: O'Connell Center

Gainesville TV: Sun Sports

Gainesville radio: AM-850

FLORIDA PROBABLE STARTERS

G Kenny Boynton 6-2 So. 14.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
G Erving Walker 5-8 Jr. 12.8 ppg, 4.3 apg
F Chandler Parsons 6-9 Sr. 14.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg
F Alex Tyus 6-8 Sr. 7.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg
C Vernon Macklin 6-10 Sr. 9.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg

FLORIDA ATLANTIC PROBABLE STARTERS

G Dennis Mavin 6-3 Fr. 12.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg
G Alex Tucker 5-10 Jr. 12.8 ppg, 4.4 apg
G Greg Gantt 6-2 So. 16.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg
F Brett Royster 6-8 Sr. 7.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F Kore White 6-8 So. 9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Notes:Florida is 2-0 lifetime against Florida Atlantic ... The Owls are coached by former St. John's and George Washington coach Mike Jarvis. ... Florida Atlantic features two Gainesville natives in the starting lineup, sophomore guard Greg Gantt and freshman guard Dennis Mavin ... Gantt helped lead Gainesville High to the 2008-09 state basketball title, while Mavin played with UF freshman point guard Scottie Wilbekin at The Rock School. ... Florida Atlantic assistant coach Matt McCall was a former head manager and director of basketball operations for the Gators. ... Florida is 64-8 in November all-time under Billy Donovan and 46-2 at home. ... After a shaky start to the season, UF point guard Erving Walker has 13 assists to just two turnovers over his last two games.

— Kevin Brockway

Macklin is expected to start again tonight when the Gators host Florida Atlantic at the O'Connell Center. But Florida coach Billy Donovan revealed he may hold Macklin out of games for an extended period to give his ailing right knee time to heal.

“It could be discussed, will probably be discussed,” Donovan said. “He'll practice some today and play tomorrow and I think going forward from there we'll make a decision of what we need to do.”

Asked if he could be held out a week or two, Donovan responded: “Maybe longer than that. If we're going to rest it, it wouldn't be just for a couple of games. That's not going to cure the problem.

“It would help him a lot. He's just got some tendinitis, some bone spurs, some grinding behind his kneecap. He's just got some issues there.”

Macklin said his knee stiffened up in the second half of the Ohio State, when he played a season-high 27 minutes. Macklin has played an average of 19.3 minutes in UF's other three games.

“He's dealing with pretty significant pain and probably doesn't have the same explosion he normally would have,” Donovan said.

No. 16 Florida (3-1), which dropped seven spots when this week's AP poll was released, has been banged up early this season. Senior forward Alex Tyus missed the North Carolina A&T game after suffering a concussion in last week's 92-75 loss to Ohio State.

If Macklin sits, Donovan said he would turn to either sophomore Erik Murphy or freshman Patric Young to start at center. Donovan said it wouldn't impact his decision to redshirt freshman Cody Larson this season, because he's confident that freshman forward Will Yeguete could move into the rotation at UF's fourth post player.

Macklin, a transfer from Georgetown, emerged as a dependable post scorer last season. He started all 34 games at center for UF last season, averaging 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.

“He's a big part of our team,” senior forward Chandler Parsons said. “If he's sitting out, he's one of our seniors, he's a leader. That would be tough. Thank God we have depth, we have some size in there. We have some guys who can fill in and play hard.”

Donovan said surgery at this point is not an option for the 6-foot-10 Macklin, who is averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in limited minutes.

“The biggest thing with surgery is do you get a drastic return when you perform surgery that he's that much better,” Donovan said. “And I think with what his issues are, there is no guarantee that if he did get surgery, there would be a whole lot of improvement there. Because of the tendinitis and the bone spurs the best thing probably for him would be rest.”

FREE THROWS: Freshman point guard Scottie Wilbekin said he was “just running a little late” for UF's pregame shootaround. Wilbekin and teammate Casey Prather had their minutes cut Sunday against Morehead State because of their tardiness. “It won't happen again,” Wilbekin said. “I'm not usually a guy that's late.” ... Parsons went into treatment Monday for a sore right calf, but said he doesn't expect it to impact him tonight.

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