Yeguete helps Team France

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Patric Young isn’t the only Gator that’s benefiting from international competition this summer.

Florida rising sophomore Will Yeguete has averaged 5.2 points and 5.0 rebounds to lead his native France to the FIBA 20-under European Championships in Spain.

Yeguete had 4 points and 8 rebounds in France’s opening game against Croatia. The 6-foot-7 forward from Bourdeaux, France followed that effort with 11 points and 5 rebounds in a win against Sweden.

The rebounding numbers aren’t surprising. Yeguete averaged 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in limited minutes off the bench last season. But Yeguete showed flashes of his tenacity on the glass with a 15-rebound effort against North Carolina A&T. It was three rebounds shy of Al Horford’s freshman UF record of 18 rebounds in a game. Horford’s 18 boards came in an 85-54 win over Alabama in 2005.

Yeguete’s offensive skills were unpolished last season, but he showed good instincts off the glass and a knack for hitting the floor to get to loose balls. He could earn a more prominent role in UF’s frontcourt in 2011-12 with the departure of Vernon Macklin, Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus.

Other notes:

— New Florida assistant Norm Roberts is already making inroads on the recruiting trail. According to SNY’s Adam Zagoria, Roberts is helping Florida stay in the mix for Kyle Anderson, the top point guard in the 2012 class. The 6-foot-8 Anderson, from St. Anthony’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J., has drawn comparisons to Magic Johnson because of his combination of size and passing ability.

— ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil recently polled college coaches on who they would want on the bench with five seconds left in a tie game. Florida coach Billy Donovan was not mentioned. Donovan, named SEC coach of the year for the first time in his career in 2011, went 6-4 in games decided by 5-points or less last season and 4-2 in overtime. In his 15 seasons at Florida, Donovan is 52-64 in games decided by 5 points or less.

In four games last season, Florida had the ball on the final possession of regulation with a chance to win. The Gators failed to score all four times, with Erving Walker taking the final shot on three occasions (Jacksonville, Vanderbilt, Butler) and Chandler Parsons taking the last shot once (BYU). Florida went 2-2 in the four games, beating Vanderbilt and BYU while losing to Jacksonville and Butler in the Elite Eight.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I would agree. I have never liked Donovan’s offense at the end of any game, whether it’s tied, we’re behind or in the lead. It always seems to be dribble out the clock and throw something up. No ball movement or imagination at all. Wait, I remember some imagination: putting Parsons in the post to miss a shot. Predictable since he never played with his back to the basket.
    Oh well. I still am grateful to have him as our coach. You can’t win ’em all. Go Gators!!

  2. This criticism has come directly from former players. Donovan is a great practice coach but awful game on the line one. He looks like a lost sheep at end of game time outs. Unfortutnately it knocked us out of a potential National Championship last year. However, as competitive as he is, I’m sure he’ll continue to get better. Can’t wait to see this years version.

  3. Yeguette is a bulldog on the boards. A smaller version of Patric Young. I’m sure he’ll start the early games because Murphy will be suspended a couple of games. Winning games in last second is not coaching but an individual taking the shot and making it. Sadly, we haven’t had a lot of those type guys playing for the Gators. Maybe Lee Humphrey was the best in recent history. Most of Billy’s recruits at guard have been pretty ordinary. We’re more a frontcourt team.