Profile: Will Yeguete
Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 9:13 p.m.
WILL YEGUETE • F • SENIOR
Florida coach Billy Donovan recalled when he recruited Will Yeguete out of Florida Air Academy in Melbourne.
Weight: 230 pounds
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Donovan said he remained on the fence about Yeguete, who looked just average offensively in workouts. But that was before he called a rival high school coach before a state playoff matchup to ask what he thought about the 6-foot-7 forward from Bordeaux, France.
“He told me he was scared to death of him,” Donovan said. “And the reason why was that he was capable of dominating a game without scoring.”
Shortly after that phone call, Donovan offered Yeguete a scholarship. And Yeguete has played as advertised, capable of altering a game with his defensive and rebounding prowess. Yeguete was a key factor in UF's NCAA Tournament wins against Minnesota and Florida Gulf Coast University last season, coming up with timely steals and rebounds in key spots.
But Yeguete's star-crossed college career has been derailed by injuries. Last season, Yeguete sat out a month with knee tendinitis and underwent offseason surgery to repair cartilage in his knee. As a sophomore, Yeguete suffered a broken foot in February that ended his season.
“It's a little frustrating,” Yeguete said. “I try not to think about it when I play. But I guess in the back of my head I know I've had injuries. I just want to try to forget about it and just move on and be out there.”
With Erik Murphy's departure, Yeguete could slide into the starting power forward spot for the Gators this season. But he hasn't been cleared for full contact in practice yet, which means coming off the bench again this season could be a distinct possibility.
Whether starting or coming off the bench, Yeguete said he's ready to contribute.
“I do think I'm mature enough and have been through the process and think I'm ready,” Yeguete said. “Obviously, I'm not ready physically. When the time comes when I'm fully go I think I can talk about getting the starting job. I'm going to work for it. I still have to work for it and prove I can take that spot. Nothing is going to be given to me and we'll see how it goes. I just need to keep working hard.”