Revenge is best served on a dish from Scottie Wilbekin and with a side of stuffing from Patric Young.
The Gators point guard tallied a game-high 6 assists without a turnover, while its recently silent center
punched in 14 points during Florida’s 71-54 pay back rout of Arkansas.
Young’s point total came on 7 for 10 shooting performance, and highlighted Florida’s concerted effort to work the ball inside. It was an effort well rewarded, as the Gators outscored the Razorbacks 42-18 in the paint.
“If you look at the games that we score more points in the paint, we generally win. I think we may be undefeated this year,” Donovan told IMG Sports Network following the game. “When 42 of our 71 points are inside the paint— that’s a good number”.
While the Gators did what they had not in an earlier contest between the two teams, so too did Arkansas.
This time the Razorbacks missed.
After shooting nearly 45% from beyond the arc in during a win over Florida, Arkansas managed a paltry 6 for 27 ratio in the loss. It was a figure Donovan attributed to better defense, particularly against Razorbacks’ leading scorer, BJ Young, who was held to 3 points and missed all 8 field goal attempts.
“I thought Scottie Wilbekin just did a phenomenal job on BJ Young defensively. He really, really held him down,” Donovan said.
Though the Gators were able to flip the result, and a few of the statistics, one figure continued to agitate its head coach.
“We spent a lot of time the last couple of days on free throw shooting. We still have got to do a better job there. We are just not shooting well enough,” Donovan said of Florida’s 5 of 11 outing.
Aside from the struggles at the stripe, Donovan was proud of his team’s performance, especially in light of a depth deficiency between the two squads.
“Arkansas is a very, very deep team and the sub in a lot of guys,” Donovan said. “But our guys really showed some great resiliency and toughness and battled through some of the fatigue and playing long minutes. And against a team that really handled us pretty well in Fayetteville— this was a great win for us”.
Team depth is, was — and will be a concern for Florida. And, unfortunately, an increasing one.
The Gators will likely be without Michael Frazier II for at least the short term. The sharp-shooting freshman, whose play has been critical during the absence of Will Yeguete, suffered a concussion in the second half.
“He is going to be sidelined. I don’t know how long right now,” Donovan said. “This could be a one game— it could be a two game. It could be like a Casey Prather. We have no idea. But obviously he was knocked out on the floor and that is a concern. But he is okay. He is doing fine and should recover”.
Though he may recover sooner than Florida’s upcoming game against Tennessee, precautions and protocols suggest he will not play Tuesday night against the Volunteers. The loss presents yet another challenge for the hard-luck Gators.
“Going to Knoxville is always difficult. We are obviously going in short handed without Mike Frazier. We are going to have to develop one of these younger guys in the back court to give us some minutes. But that’s what happens,” Donovan said.