Hill bonding with teammates


Florida coach Billy Donovan said it’s too early to tell what kind of impact freshman McDonald’s All-American point guard Kasey Hill will have on the Gators this season.

“It’s really hard to say right now because we’ve done a lot of small group workouts,” Donovan said before Wednesday night’s Jimmy V Gala in New York City.

But Donovan has been pleased with how Hill has blended in with his teammates. The former Montverde Academy standout came into summer and fall workouts humble, similar to how former Gator standout freshman guard Bradley Beal adapted to his teammates before the 2011-12 season.

“The biggest thing I can say is that his attitude has been really good,” Donovan said. “He’s eager to learn, eager to get better. I think he’s done a great job creating some real good relationships, being a freshman, with some of the older guys.”

How that translates on the court remains to be seen, but it doesn’t hurt for a point guard to gain the trust and rapport of his teammates. At times during the 2011-12 season, Donovan felt that Beal was unselfish to a fault, not wanting to take shots from established veterans Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker despite his superior ability. It wasn’t until March that Beal put the Gators on his back, helping lead Florida to the second of three straight Elite Eight runs.

The Gators are going to need the 6-fooot-1 Hill to contribute immediately.  Returning starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin remains suspended from the team indefinitely, and Donovan confirmed that he will sit out an undisclosed amount of games to start the 2013-14 season. Wilbekin is working out separately from the team and may or may not return to team activities when Florida opens practice on Oct. 11.