Freshman Hill learning on the job


Florida freshman point guard Kasey Hill finished with four points, four assists, two turnovers and one steal Tuesday night against Wisconsin.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 9:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. — In his first game on a national stage, Florida freshman point guard Kasey Hill's shortcomings were exposed.

Hill went 2 of 11 from the floor before fouling out with 3:25 remaining during No. 11 UF's 59-53 loss to No. 20 Wisconsin on Tuesday night at the Kohl Center. But teammates are confident Hill will bounce back.

“He'll get better with that,” Florida sophomore guard Michael Frazier II said. “It just takes time. He's got to play more games, more practice. He'll be fine.”

On his prettiest play of the game, Hill flashed his athletic ability by skying for a rebound, racing the ball past midcourt and finding Casey Prather for an easy layup in transition. But those plays were few and far between. Hill finished with four points, four assists, two turnovers and one steal.

Hill was pressed into extended duty because returning starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin remains suspended for disciplinary reasons. It was clear Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan did a thorough scouting report on the 6-foot-1 McDonald's All-American. Wisconsin players backed off of Hill, daring him to shoot outside. Hill missed all four of his wide-open 3-point attempts.

“Kasey really struggled shooting the basketball,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “He took 11 shots, he probably could have taken 21 shots with the way they were playing him. I give him credit for his patience, offensively.”

But Donovan also felt Hill's lack of success shooting impacted his play on defense, which led to his foul trouble.

“He was visibly upset, disappointed, bothered,” Donovan said. “Obviously I put him in a difficult situation in the fact that he's a freshman, and we don't have another point guard on our team and he has to absorb a lot of minutes and he kinda has to learn on the job. And I'm not sure that's the fairest thing to him. So there's going to be some growing pains and bumps and bruises along the way.”

Free throws

Donovan, on Frazier's 20-point performance which included a 5-of-7 night from the 3-point line: “He's really a great shooter. He's one of the best shooters I've coached. But he has got a long way to go, defensively. He had 20 tonight, I'll have to go back (to the film) and see how many he gave up.” Frazier is shooting 60 percent (6 of 10) from 3-point range this season, while the rest of the Gator team is 1 for 14 from beyond the arc. … Wisconsin improved to 120-30 (.800) in non-conference games under Ryan. The Badgers also improved to 182-18 (.910) at home under Ryan.

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

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