Wilbekin out indefinitely for the Gators
Published on Tuesday, 12/3/13, at 3:45 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
Florida senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin is out indefinitely after suffering a high ankle sprain in Monday’s buzzer-beating loss at Connecticut. UF covered the number as a four-point underdog in the 65-64 defeat.
According to Chris Harry of Gatorzone.com, Wilbekin left the arena last night without a boot or crutches, so that’s good news. Nevertheless, the guess here is that he’ll be out for at least 2-3 weeks, possibly longer.
This leaves the Gators with only six healthy scholarship players and zero point guards. Freshman PG Kasey Hill sprained his ankle in a Nov. 18 win over Southern and isn’t expected to be ready for about two more weeks.
Michael Frazier II will likely slide over to PG, while DeVon Walker, Rutgers transfer Eli Carter and Dorian Finney-Smith could also play the point, albeit out of their natural positions.
Carter has seen minimal playing time thus far because he’s out of shape due to a leg injury from last season. And Finney-Smith usually plays one of the forward positions.
Billy Donovan’s team played without Hill and Wilbekin in a 79-59 win over Middle Tennessee. Frazier logged 36 minutes of playing time in that contest with a 2/2 assists-to-turnovers ratio.
Making matters worse, Kansas is on deck at the O-Dome before a date with Memphis (which just beat Oklahoma St.) at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Chris Walker, a McDonald’s All-American, is still trying to get eligible and his status remain uncertain. There’s a chance Walker could be cleared to play before the SEC season gets underway. Demontre Harris remains indefinitely suspended and Donovan indicated to the Gainesville Sun last week that his return is unlikely.
With all this said, this isn’t the end of the world for the 2013-2014 Florida basketball team. Not by any means.
Even in the worst-case scenario, Hill will be ready for SEC action and Wilbekin at some point in January. Even if Walker doesn’t get eligible and Harris isn’t reinstated, that’ll give UF an eight-deep squad with — at least — Sweet 16 talent if those eight can remain healthy.
In other words, a fourth consecutive trip to the Elite Eight isn’t out of the question. And if Walker becomes eligible, nothing is out of reach.