Young Will Benefit from USA Team Experience

With the departure of Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus from the frontline, this offseason was important for Patric Young. He is the most experienced player in the paint on the 2011-12 squad, and his progression is important. His play with Team USA this summer has improved throughout the schedule, continuing with two wins over Poland and Australia to close out the U19 World Championship.

Patric Young was an enforcer for the Florida defense last year as a freshman, coming off the bench to rebound and block shots. He averaged 3.8 rebounds in 17.8 minutes played last season, scoring just 3.4 points per game. He ran the floor hard, blocked shots and infused energy to the team.

His role won't be much different this season.

The Gators will need him to score enough to keep defenses from playing only on the perimeter and double-teaming one of Florida's guards. Most of the scoring will come from the guard position, where Florida returns Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker, while adding one of the top freshmen in the country in Brad Beal. The Gators also get an impact transfer, as Mike Rosario will be eligible after sitting out last season because of a transfer from Rutgers.

Young hasn't settled for simply being known as a defender. He is 10-for-12 from the field in two wins over Poland and Australia, scoring 22 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the two games combined. In nine games played, Young averaged 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds.

The real positive comes in his shooting percentage. Young shot 55.6% from the field last season, but there were some easy shots he missed that needed to be corrected before his sophomore season. In nine games with Team USA, Young shot 72% (36-50) from the floor.

From the free throw line, Young shot 44.1% (15-for-34). After shooting 70.3% during his freshman season, he knows it's something that is still a work in progress.

Team USA finished the U19 World Championships without bringing home the gold, but the team's solid play at the end of the tournament was encouraging.

"It's bitter sweet because we're leaving without the gold medal but we're happy that we came out victorious as a team," Patric Young said. "It‘s been a long battle for us to be here since June 17 and we've gone through so many things and we're just really happy that we were able to come through on a positive note. Of course we wanted to win the gold medal, we're just happy that we were able to do the things we accomplished and learn the lessons we learned from this."

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