Florida sophomore center Patric Young said his ailing ankle is still at “70 to 80 percent” but that he intends to play through it for the rest of the season.
The 6-foot-9, 247-pound center has been dealing with ankle tendinitis since early January.
“It’s still about 70 or 80 percent but when it’s time to step on the court, nothing is really bothering me,” Young said. “I’m able to do everything else. It might look like I’m running kind of funny sometimes, but I’m still going to give my all and I’m still going to give the best effort I can.”
Young had 11 rebounds against Georgia, his most since grabbing 12 rebounds in a head-to-head matchup with Jared Sullinger on Nov. 17 against Ohio State. But there were times against Georgia when Young grabbed offensive rebounds and was still tentative to take the ball back up strong to the basket. Young said it had nothing to do with his injury.
“When you get an offensive rebound, it’s kind of a quick thing,” Young said. “If you can’t get the basket right away, I think the smartest thing to do is pass it back out, to get a possession, to go back on offense and make them play defense for another 30-plus seconds.
“I think I did a pretty good rebounding the last game. It’s been a while since I hit the double-digits in rebounds. I need to do that more consistently with Will (Yeguete) out.”
Young said he talked with Florida coach Billy Donovan in the parking lot at the facility after coming back from the Georgia game. Donovan’s message?
“He just told me I needed to be more consistent and bring that same passion and energy every day,” Young said. “There’s so many people out there that would trade with you to have this opportunity and it’s just hard to believe that sometimes we’re not thankful and lose sight of that.”
— Before the season, Donovan said that Kenny Boynton had a chance to become the best defensive player in the Southeastern Conference. When asked about how he’s played defense this season, Donovan said: “Kenny really tries to guard — I think the one thing that we’ve got to get Kenny to understand a little bit more is more of a help defender, putting his body in plays, being a little bit more physical off the ball, trying to take a charge, trying to get in there and rebound more. One of the things that’s happening to our team is because of Will (Yeguete) being gone, we have to play a smaller lineup in some senses. And with that being said, everybody’s got to get out of their comfort zone.”
— Florida dropped only two spots to 19 in the NCAA.com’s latest RPI. A note on UF’s maddening inconsistency — the Gators have three losses against teams in the top nine in RPI (Kentucky 1, Syracuse 2, Ohio State 9) and four losses against teams with an RPI below 92 (Tennessee twice 92, Georgia 108, Rutgers 138). The Gators are 3-3 vs. the RPI top 50 and 9-5 vs. the RPI top 100.