Banged Up Gators Will Have to Adjust

The Florida Gators finished strong against Auburn on Tuesday night relying on a strong second half for a 63-47 victory and move to 22-6 on the season. The aftermath was by the loss of forward Will Yeguete, a scrappy sophomore that comes off the bench and is second on the team in rebounds, fourth in steals, and other things we won't find on the stat sheet. For the Gators, it means an adjustment.

Billy Donovan was not happy with the first half play on Tuesday as the Gators stumbled to a three point deficit at half time. He attributed a part of it to the emotional peaks and valleys of coming off a huge 30 point win on the road, and the realization that his Florida Gators are a bit injured coming down the stretch of the SEC schedule.

"We are banged up," Donovan told the media after the game. "Scottie Wilbekin has a hyper extended knee. Casey Prather was in shoot around with an ankle sprain. I was really happy for him in the second half that he was able to contribute with some meaningful minutes.

"Patric Young is dealing with a deep thigh bruise and a mild ankle sprain against Arkansas. Cody Larson has a bursa sac on his knee cap… Erik Murphy tweaked a knee and missed practice on Sunday."

All of these contributed to a slow start on Tuesday but the worst issue happened during the game when Will Yeguete left with a foot injury. Donovan was worried about Will Yeguete possibly having a broken foot and before the building was cleared of the media following the game Tuesday night, those fears were confirmed.

With that assumption and asked on stage, Donovan said his team would have to tweak their game plans and get some guys in different spots in order to proceed at a high level the rest of the season.

"We would have to do some different things," he said in the absence of Yeguete. "We got put into a bad spot against Tennessee when he went down in the middle of the game. We got guys put into spots that weren't comfortable there in the middle of the game. In the Alabama game we had a couple of days to make some adjustments, like we played Scottie at the power forward spot, but we practiced that so he knew what he was doing on the floor offensively."

Some players that haven't played much are going to have to do so moving forward. Guys like Casey Prather who has struggled during a lot of his play this season, but as mentioned above, played well Tuesday.

"We are going to have to do some different things," Donovan said. "We will have to make some adjustments. Casey Prather playing the four, Brad Beal playing the four, Scottie playing the four, Cody Larson needs to step up and provide more. Casey will have to provide more. It isn't like we are dealing with this for a couple of games… it is like we are dealing with this for the rest of the season."

This is a top ten team with all the pieces together. Donovan has shown he can make some unconventional personnel moves and have them work. This team will now really have to rely on its strengths to pull them through and limit the issues they will see in their lack of front court depth.

But, that is what top ten teams do.


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