Florida Gators No. 7 in hoops rankings

The Florida Gators’ basketball team improved to 3-0 with a 66-45 victory against Middle Tennessee State in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday.

On Monday, the Gators were awarded for their perfect start by moving up three spots to No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25. Florida was No. 10 in the preseason and stayed unchanged in the first poll of the 2012-13 season, which was released a week ago.

Coach Billy Donovan’s squad looks to remain unbeaten when it hosts Savannah State at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Wins include a 74-56 home victory against then-No. 22 Wisconsin on Nov. 14.

Donovan has started the same lineup in all three games with Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario, Will Yeguete, Erik Murphy and Patric Young.

Boynton, a senior who has started at point guard in place of Scottie Wilbekin, leads the team with 17.3 points per game and 10 assists. He also is second on the team with 5.3 rebounds per game and has drained 50 percent of his shots (8 of 16) from three-point range. He moved into fourth in UF history for three pointers made and sixth in career scoring with 1,641 points after putting up 20 against MTSU.

Wilbekin, who was suspended for three games (counting a half of a game against Georgetown that was cancelled) for violating team rules, returned to the team for Sunday’s game and contributed eight points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 23 minutes.

Murphy is second on the team with 15 points per game, followed by Rosario at 12.7 points per game and nine assists. Young is averaging 9.7 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game.

Yeguete leads the team with 9.3 rebounds to go along 7.7 points per game. He also has six assists and is tied for the team lead with three steals.

Four true freshmen have played, led by shooting guard Michael Frazier II’s 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 17 minutes per game. Point guard Braxton Ogbueze is averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game. DeVon Walker and Dillon Graham are averaging 9.3 and 9.0 minutes per game, respectively.

As a team, Florida is shooting 51.4 percent (75 of 146) from the field, including 36.8 percent (21 of 57) from beyond the arc, and 67.1 percent (53 of 79) from the free-throw line. The Gators own a +12.3 rebounding advantage and a +0.7 turnover margin average per game.

The Gators are limiting opponents to 45.3 points per game on 29.7 percent (49 of 165) from the floor.

Previous articleVIDEO: Muschamp previews FSU matchup
Next articleVIDEO: Bostic talks rivalry with Seminoles
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.