Florida's Young Plays Like A Veteran, Gators Hold Off Arizona

        The Gators needed a career-night from center Patric Young to hold off the Wildcats in overtime and their first key win of the season and that's just what Florida got. The burly sophomore dominated Arizona's lack of a frontline all night long, shooting 12-of-15 from the floor, finishing with 25 points and collecting 10 rebounds and his third career double-double.

        Florida's long-range attack, second in the nation with 11 made 3-pointers per game at a .418 accuracy mark, struggled. The starting backcourt of Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Brad Beal combined to go 3-for-17 (17.6 percent) and 7-of-26 (26.9 percent), well-below their season marks. At times, head coach Billy Donovan ran isolations for Patric Young in the post, but more commonly he would use his center in the pick-and-roll game where the Florida guards would hit him cutting to the rim.

        We wrote last week (http://www.nba-draft.com/Blog347.html) that Billy Donovan's and Florida's hopes of returning to the Final Four hinge on working on getting Young post touches as often as possible and letting him operate down low. He should get at least one touch every possession for the Gators to work inside-out, thus making their perimeter shooters that much more effective. Especially on a night like Florida vs. Arizona, where the outside shooters were shut down, Young was a force, shooting 80 percent from the field with six offensive rebounds.

        After the game, Donovan had this to say about Young: "He had 25 points. He should have had 45 points. We should have got the ball to him much, much more than we did. There's got to be a better understanding." If coach can work with his guards on getting Young his touches and then develop Young's potentially-dominating drop-step and up-and-under moves with the ball, we can see Young move from the middle of the first round in the NBA Draft to a top ten selection.

By President - Corey Ruff - 12-8-11