Florida’s Wilbekin returns to team

Florida Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin’s suspension has been lifted, according to GatorZone.com’s Chris Harry. Wilbekin will practice with the team for the first time in a week on Friday.

Harry noted this past Saturday that Wilbekin would serve a four-game suspension for violating team rules, but he only ended up missing three, counting the No. 10 Gators’ game against Georgetown. The game was cancelled with UF leading 27-23 at halftime due to safety concerns after condensation built up on the court atop the USS Bataan at the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville.

Wilbekin, a 6-foot-2, 176-pound junior from Gainesville, also missed Florida’s 84-35 season-opening win against Alabama State on Sunday and Wednesday’s 74-56 win against No. 22 Wisconsin.

Florida (2-0) plays Middle Tennessee at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. Wilbekin will not start that game, Donovan said in the article.

“He’ll be at practice (Friday) and he’ll play in the game this weekend — but I’m definitely not starting him,” Donovan said. “Obviously, he made some bad decisions that he’s paid for, but as far as I’m concerned that’s all over and done with.”

Senior Kenny Boynton switched from shooting guard to point guard in Wilbekin’s absence. He scored a team-high 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting, including 4 of 4 from three-point range, against Alabama State.

Donovan said during a news conference after the Alabama State game that Wilbekin had not taken part in any team functions, but he had not been banned from the basketball facilities. He even worked out with one of the assistants during his suspension.

“Scottie’s missed a whole week, basically,” Donovan said in the article. “Now he has to come back to practice and earn his way like everybody else.”

Wilbekin played in all 37 games while making one start last season. He averaged 2.6 points and 15 minutes per game.

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.