Wilbekin shines down under


While Florida is starting the 2014-15 with a new cast, one of UF’s senior standouts from a season ago is off to a good start professionally.

Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin was named player of the month for October for the Cairns Taipans of the Australian National Basketball League. The former 2014 SEC player of the year is currently fourth in the league in scoring at 18.2 ppg and fifth in assists at 4.3 apg.

“He keeps a really strong demeanor about himself,” Taipans coach Aaron Fearne said. “He’s poised, he moves the ball very well. He always makes a high percentage play –finish on the rim, pull up jumper, find the open man, he’s been fantastic.”

With Wilbekin at the point, the Taipans are off to a 6-0 start. Dating back to his final season at Florida, Wilbekin has won 36 of his last 37 games.

“I think we can beat every team in the NBL,” Wilbekin said. “I’m not saying we will beat every team four times, but we have the ability to win any given game, but we can be beaten just as easily.”

Other notes:

— Another former Gator standout, forward Erik Murphy, has landed on his feet in the NBA Development League. A late cut by the Boston Celtics, Murphy was taken third overall in the D-League draft by the Austin Toros, the D-League affiliate for the San Antonio Spurs. If Murphy plays well enough, he could be groomed as the potential successor to another former Gators-turned-Spurs stretch power forward — Matt Bonner.

— Florida coach Billy Donovan said redshirt junior guard Eli Carter has made a nice recovery physically from a broken leg last season and would like to see the Rutgers transfer take on more of a leadership role.” We’ve got to get to a place where a guy like Eli in particular really invests in his teammates,” Donovan said. “What I mean by that is Eli is very well respected inside of our team from the standpoint that here’s a guy that has played two years in college and played at a pretty high clip. He played in a good conference. But Eli can be quiet. Eli can be a guy that can be to himself. Sometimes younger guys look for direction and Eli is one of those guys that comes in here like “I know my job, I know what I’m going to do.’ ”