UF basketball suspends two more
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 2:37 p.m.
Florida will find out quickly how well it responds to adversity during the 2013-14 season.
Who: Florida Southern Mocs (27-6 last season) vs. No. 10 Florida Gators (29-8)
When: 7 p.m.
Where: O’Connell Center
Online: At GatorVision.TV
Forward Dorian Finney-Smith and center Damontre Harris will be suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules, Florida coach Billy Donovan announced Thursday. Finney-Smith and Harris will sit out tonight’s preseason opener against Florida Southern and more games moving forward.
“I’ve got them in practice right now,” Donovan said. “They’re practicing. They will do that. Right now, we’ll make a decision. There’s some things that they need to do as well. Hopefully, they will do it and we’ll see how that translates going forward.”
Asked if Finney-Smith and Harris will be suspended for the season opener Nov. 8 against North Florida, Donovan responded: “At least that if not more. A lot is going to depend on how those guys handle themselves.”
Finney-Smith and Harris join senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin as suspended players to start the season. And that doesn’t include injured players. Donovan said he intends to let Will Yeguete make the call whether to play in the preseason game. Yeguete, who is recovering from knee surgery, practiced Tuesday but sat out practice Wednesday.
Sophomore guard Michael Frazier II is out indefinitely with mononucleosis, while junior guard Eli Carter (broken leg) is practicing, but not at 100 percent.
“He's laboring,” Donovan said. “He runs with a little bit of a limp and he has to work through that. So we're going to at least throw him in there and see how much he can respond. But he will be available to play.”
Donovan half-joked that walk-on Jacob Kurtz could end up in the starting lineup. But it appears Florida will have at least six scholarship players available for the game and possibly seven if Yeguete decides to play.
The injuries have opened an opportunity for sophomore guard/forward DeVon Walker, who is projected to start at shooting guard tonight.
“I've really seen him make a huge jump from last year to this year,” Donovan said. “He's physically stronger. He's done some good things. I would say this right now with the way DeVon Walker has done, even with a full allotment of players, he's going to earn himself into some type of role this year. That would be my feeling."
Donovan has approached Walker about redshirting a few weeks ago.
“For me, it was motivation,” Walker said. “But at the same time, I tried not to think about it because that’s like added pressure on myself. That’s something I don’t need. I’m just trying to go out there and play basketball. That’s why I’m here.”
Walker said he’s confident the Gators will rally around the players who are available.
“It’s part of the game,” Walker said. “It happens. Unfortunately, it did happen, but it’s not going to hold us back from trying to win games. It’s not going to last the whole season.”