Florida coach Billy Donovan said Friday that freshman point guard Scottie Wilbekin will be out 7-10 days with a strained neck.
Donovan said he will probably hold Wilbekin out for UF’s preseason finale Nov. 3 against Georgetown (Ky.) College.
“I’d like to have him out there but I don’t want to push him too much where if he gets hit or banged and all of the sudden we’re in a situation where he’s out another 10 days,” Donovan said.
Wilbekin, a 17-year-old who skipped his senior year at The Rock School in Gainesville to enroll at Florida, had two assists in two steals in five first-half minutes Thursday night against Florida Tech. Wilbekin injured his neck when he took a blow to the side of the head going after a loose ball.
“His first stint when he came in I could tell he was a little nervous and when he came out and he came back in the second time he had a really, really good period he was in there,” Donovan said. “He made a nice pass for a dunk, he got a steal. He did some really good things and I think for a freshman, being out there it was a good thing for him just to get the feel.”
With Wilbekin out, Donovan said walk-on point guard Kyle McClanahan would likely see more playing time against Georgetown College. Donovan said sophomore Kenny Boynton and senior Chandler Parsons also will see time at the point in relief of starter Erving Walker.
Other Florida Tech notes:
– Donovan said that although Florida forced 30 turnovers against Florida Tech, he felt his team’s press was a little off. “Just our rotations guys being in the right spots,” he said. “There were some turnovers that really didn’t have a lot to do with us, probably had more to do with them.”
— There were times too when Donovan felt his team didn’t execute well on the fast break. The Gators had 11 turnovers in the first half, 19 for the game. “We missed a couple of opportunities on the break where probably we forced some things, we made a couple of ill-advised passes, we took some quick shots,” Donovan said. “I think we got good enough guys that we will be able to clean that up.”
— Donovan used the words “complete” and “efficient” to describe Boynton’s 24-point game against Florida Tech. Though Boynton hoisted 15 shots in 25 minutes, Donovan was pleased with his shot selection. “Every shot he took was on balance, he was in the flow of our offense, in the flow of transition,” Donovan said. “He had some drives to the basket, he made some shot pull-up jump shots.
“I thought the other thing he did to was he made a lot of extra passes and got the ball to people at the right spot, and I think he’s figuring out and understanding a 40 minute game is a long period of time. You play 35 minutes, it’s a long time on the floor. Patience and understanding how to play are gonna come, and I think I’ve seen some growth in him in that area.”
— Donovan said Walker’s 1-for-8 shooting night against Florida Tech was not indicative of how he has been practicing.
— Donovan said the expects the starting five to get more playing time for the Nov. 3 game against Georgetown College. “You will see some of our older guys play a little bit more and maybe try to get into a little bit more of a rotation,” Donovan said.