Florida senior center Patric Young did not view his improved free-throw shooting against Florida Southern as cause for celebration.
“It was just one game, so I’ve got, what, 30, 35 games left to see if I really have improved,” Young said. “Just going to keep working on it every day as I’ve been doing all summer. We’ll see if that pays off.”
After missing his first two free throw attempts, Young went 7 of 8 from the free-throw line to finish 70 percent (7-10) for the game.
Young’s free-throw shooting woes have been well-documented. He shot 48.9 percent from the line last season, down from 59.3 percent as a sophomore and 70.3 percent as a freshman.
Young said he hasn’t tinkered too much with his shot mechanics at the free-throw line.
“(I’m) just trusting in my form and not thinking too much when I’m up there,” Young said.
Florida coach Billy Donovan said he’s noticed that Young made free-throw shooting a priority during the offseason.
“I think his free-throw shooting last year was such a point of contention for him that he wanted to get better at it,” Donovan said. “So, you know, he’s shooting them every day and we’re trying to work on it and trying to help him get better.”
With proposed rules changes designed to crack down on contact, Young and the rest of the Gators could be getting to the line frequently during the start of the 2013-14 season.
“We’ve got to understand as a team that that’s got to be a big part of our offense, too, of trying to increase our shooting percentage from the free-throw line,” Donovan said.
More on Young
Donovan also offered this candid assessment on whether Young’s college career has met outside expectations.
“I don’t mean this in a derogatory way towards Patric Young, he’s not Dwight Howard and if anyone is waiting around for him to be Dwight Howard they are going to be highly disappointed,” Donovan said.
Instead, Donovan wants Young to focus on the things he can control – which is playing with high energy for longer stretches. That will be a challenge early in the season considering Florida is down to a rotation of seven scholarship players (possibly eight with the return of Michael Frazier II) early this season.
“The one thing I’ll always be thankful for and appreciative, because it was totally his decision by himself, he’s had every opportunity since his freshman year to pick up and walk out of here.,” Donovan said. “And he has stayed very, very loyal to the University of Florida and to the program and has really wanted to get a full college experience not only as a basketball player but as a student. In a day and age when a lot of kids have the opportunity to go to the NBA, here’s a young man that decided he wanted to stay in college.”