Donovan: Wilbekin has much to prove


Florida coach Billy Donovan, right, said suspended guard Scottie Wilbekin "needs to prove that he wants to be part of the team."

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.

Suspended guard Scottie Wilbekin has work to do to get back in the good graces with the Florida basketball program.

Florida coach Billy Donovan wouldn't disclose why Wilbekin was suspended, but sounded upset with his returning starting point guard. Wilbekin was suspended last week for a violation of team rules. It's the second suspension for Wilbekin since November, when the Gainesville native sat out three games (two that counted and the suspended Florida-Georgetown game on the USS Bataan) for an undisclosed team rules violation.




“Right now, he needs to prove that he wants to be part of the team and that this is what he wants to do,” Donovan said Monday.

Wilbekin is barred from the Florida basketball practice facility until the suspension is lifted. The rising senior guard averaged 9.1 points, was second in the SEC in assists (5.0 per game) and was named to the All-SEC defensive team in his first season as a starter.

“He has to take care of responsibilities” Donovan said. “At this point, I don't really want to address any more about his status until the season starts in October. Hopefully, this is something he can learn from.”

Other notes:

— Donovan said incoming 2013-14 freshman power forward Chris Walker is still working on his NCAA initial eligibility requirements. “Right now, the hardest part is that everything has to go through the NCAA clearinghouse,” Donovan said. “We should probably know a little more in a week's time.” Walker's high school coach, Poe White, said Walker took the ACT for the third time earlier this month and is taking three courses online to try to meet core course requirements. It's still unclear if Walker can complete those classes by the time UF's Summer B session starts July 1, but Donovan said “there's a chance” Walker could stay back and complete his course work before enrolling at UF in August.

— Donovan said Rutgers transfer Eli Carter's waiver status remains up in the air. “Rutgers needs to sign off on it,” Donovan said. “I know it is something right now that Eli is dealing with, with his family.” Carter, who averaged 14.9 ppg as a sophomore shooting guard at Rutgers, is looking to obtain a waiver from the NCAA to play right away at UF in wake of the player abuse scandal involving former Rutgers coach Mike Rice. Video footage showed Rice throwing basketballs at his players and verbally abusing them.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or brockwk@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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