For Florida to get through the Southeastern Conference schedule, the Gators are counting on production from sophomore center Patric Young.
But Young has been hobbled by lingering ankle tendinitis. And while Young said Monday he can play through the pain, it sounded like something he is going to likely have to deal with for the rest of the season.
“I’ll be alright,” Young said. “My trainers are going to take of me. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I get the proper amount of rest. Ice it, elevate it and the right techniques and do everything to take care of it, and I’ll be ready for the game no matter what.”
Young said he’s been playing through the ankle injury since SEC play began. During the stretch, Young has averaged 8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1 block per game.
“It’s just like a nagging thing, a lot of pain,” Young said. “Whenever I try to move or walk or just lateral movement it really affects it. I still can’t really jump to well off my right foot and not too well off of two feet. When it comes time for the game I’m normally ready.
“After a certain level I have to pass the threshold level of pain and then I don’t feel it anymore.”
Young has played the last two games off the bench for the Gators. Florida coach Billy Donovan said that he has not determined yet whether Young will return to the starting lineup for Ole Miss.
“Whenever Coach Donovan feels like I’m ready to come back in the starting lineup, I’ll be ready,” Young said. “I still played pretty good minutes the other night and Will Yeguete, Erik Murphy, they did a great job. Hopefully, whether they are starting or not, I’ll still be consistent and doing the same things I do now.”
— Florida entered this week with an RPI of 36 according to NCAA’s RPI calculations. The Gators could get a boost this week if they pick up wins over Ole Miss (34 RPI) and Mississippi State (39 RPI).
— Former Gator assistant Larry Shyatt has led Wyoming to a 16-3 record in his head-coaching return there. The Cowboys have a big game tonight at home against No. 13 San Diego State. Wyoming leads the Mountain West in scoring defense, giving up just 53.1 points per game. No surprise, considering Shyatt was always known as a defensive coach, specializing in defense and rebounding duties during his seven-year tenure at UF.
Young’s ankle looked OK against Ole Miss. I’m not sure that bringing Young off the bench is the best idea. We’ve done it twice and both USC and Ole Miss got off to extremely fast starts. Against a top SEC team we might not be able to come back. Has anyone figured out why Pitchford isn’t getting a minute or two of PT? A reasonably athletic 6-10 guy should be able to help considering the Gator’s lack of rebounding in the last couple of games.