Homecoming for Young

After the best game of his career, Patric Young leads the No. 12 ranked Gators into his hometown of Jacksonville on Friday night to face Rider (1-8). The challenge will come in forgetting what he did against Arizona, when the sophomore posted 25 points and ten rebounds. The Gators need Young to focus on energy and defense unless Rider's defense dictates him to score more.

"With Patric going home and coming off the game he had, he can't think this is a continuation of Arizona, and we're moving the game back up to Jacksonville," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "He's got to go in the game with an understanding that (Arizona) is over with."

Against Arizona, Young did whatever he wanted in the paint. He shot 12-for-15 from the field on his way to 25 points, but Donovan was actually unhappy after the game. He wanted Young to get the ball and score more. Arizona took away the three-pointer shots that have made Florida dynamic on offense early in the season, opening Young up to being covered one-on-one by smaller players in the post.

Young now has to prepare for the possibility of a different defensive approach from Rider.

"It was great to see our guys incorporate Patric in the game like he was," Donovan said. "Patric has to understand the next game he goes into, he could possibly be double teamed a lot. He's got to have an understanding of reading defenses and making decisions."

Young will now get a chance to play in front of plenty of friends and family at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. He has family at most games because of the short drive from Jacksonville to Gainesville but playing in his home town will allow more people to see him play.

"I have the whole arena reserved for myself actually," Patric Young quipped. "It's going to be a nice little homecoming for me."

Donovan tries to schedule games in or near the hometown of as many players as possible, but it also puts them in an awkward situation. It's clear the game is being played in that city because of them, but they have to fight the urge to try taking over and being selfish.

For Young, that shouldn't be a problem. He just has to go back to the mindset he had before the 25-point performance against Arizona.

"I think this is a great opportunity for Patric to learn," Donovan said. "One of the hardest things with players when they're young is to be able to let go when something really good happens. When you lose, you want to get past it and get to the next thing. When you play well, you have a tendency to live in that."

LOOKING AT RIDER: The Broncs come into the game with a 1-8 record, but Donovan has spent the past two days cautioning his team not to pay any attention to that. He still calls them a "very talented" team.

Forward Daniel Stewart leads the team with 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Jeff Jones have 13.4 points per game, while sophomore guard Anthony Myles averages 11.1.

The Broncs hung close in a game at Pittsburgh this season, eventually losing 86-78.

"They're a very dangerous team because they have the ability to score and have two very good players that can go off the dribble and make plays," Donovan said.


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