Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from the South Carolina game


Some observations from Florida’s 74-58 win over South Carolina:

— Patric Young is playing with a much better motor this season. The Florida senior center had 13 points, 7 rebounds and yes, 3 steals, in UF’s win over the Gamecocks. Young has always been an intelligent post defender but he’s figured out this season that defense and rebounding can increase his production on offense. Over UF’s last three games, Young has averaged 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds.

— Florida was outrebounded for the first time since its Dec. 10 win against Kansas (40-30) against South Carolina. The minus-3 margin (28-25) wasn’t significant, but Florida did give up 9 offensive rebounds. The Gators are going to need to be better on the boards against Arkansas.

— I give Florida coach Billy Donovan a pass for Scottie Wilbekin’s ankle sprain. Yes, it seemed illogical for Donovan to have Wilbekin in with 2:50 left up 23 points against South Carolina. But South Carolina still had most of its starters in the game and Florida doesn’t have the depth  (eight scholarship players) projected at the beginning of the season. If Eli Carter and Dillon Graham weren’t done for the season with injuries, if Chris Walker was eligible and if Damontre Harris had his head screwed on straight, then Donovan would have no excuse. But you can’t bring in walk-ons against SEC starters until the final two minutes of the game.