Yeguete Impressing by Doing the Little Things

In a recruiting class of highly ranked players, Will Yeguete looked like the outcast. He was viewed as raw and years away from contributing in college. His 6-7 frame wasn't an obvious fit as a small forward or power forward. There were plenty of questions about his ability, but the Florida coaches now only see one thing. They must find a way to get him on the court.

"There's a little thing we do with hustle stats, and (Yeguete) was by far the highest of it," forward Chandler Parsons said. "That's deflections, taking charges and stepping up."

Players and coaches struggle to define the freshman's style of play. There won't be double-digit points next to his name in the box score after many games this season. He won't be the go-to target for a key basket.

Instead, it's the little things that sometimes go unnoticed. The freshman from Bourdeaux, France, will deflect a pass that a teammate will pick up to start a fast break. He'll set the screen to get his teammate an open shot. He'll slide under a ball handler to pick up a charge and regain possession for his team.

For a team that will be able to get points from multiple positions, a player like Will Yeguete becomes even more valuable.

"He's probably been the most standout (freshman) so far," fellow freshman Patric Young said. "He's playing hard, learning and talking. He talks to me after practice, just talking basketball. He's living and breathing basketball."

Yeguete goes up against players in practice who are a few inches taller than him, but he'll find a way to come down with the ball. Young refers to it as Yeguete's "sixth sense for rebounds."

"The kid just has a knack for the ball," Parsons said. "He's long and quick. He gets his hands on balls and steps up to do the little things. He's brought energy to practice. I just told him today to not stop that now."

It hasn't been like this since Yeguete stepped on campus. Full practices started on Friday, but before that, players were limited to individual drills with the coaching staff.

Yeguete wasn't impressive. He struggled to get accustomed to the college game with almost every part of his game, including conditioning.

"At open gym, I think he held back," guard Kenny Boynton said. "He wasn't doing what he's doing now. Offensively, he's opened his game up a lot. It's got to be confidence, because right now he looks like a whole different player. I didn't know he was that good."

It didn't take long for the veterans on the team to enjoy having Yeguete around. He brings a positive energy to the basketball facility every day that they enjoy. Moments after Parsons finished talking about the freshman, Yeguete walked through the doors of the practice facility with a smile on his face, admiring the national championship trophies in the lobby.

It's that sense of naivety that has the upperclassmen gravitating towards Yeguete.

"It's almost like it's an honor for him to be here," Parsons said. "He's not going to let a day go by without getting better. He loves Florida and loves our teammates."
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