Donovan updates the roster

Most programs and coaches head into the stretch of games before Christmas with a good idea what their team looks like. Florida head coach Billy Donovan is still trying to figure his out. The Gators expect point guards Kasey Hill and Scottie Wilbekin to return for Tuesday's game against Kansas, but there are still multiple question marks on the roster.

Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin has returned to practice since rolling his ankle at Connecticut on December 2. He was originally diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, but Donovan said he could've returned to practice on December 3 but the trainers wanted to take it slow. The swelling and soreness of the ankle is "very limited" as Florida prepares to host Kansas on Tuesday.

Kasey Hill's status isn't as clear. He is cleared to play and will be on the court at some point in the game, but Donovan isn't sure how much the ankle could limit him. Hill practiced with contact for the first time on Sunday.

"What his role would be in tomorrow's game would be too hard to say but right now I would say right now that he would be available to be put into the game," Billy Donovan said. "Unlike when Scottie was out for six games, I kind of said going into the Jacksonville game that there were no limitations on his playing time. There are really no limitations on Kasey's playing time from the doctors in terms of he can only play 10-12-15 minutes. But because he's been out and been out of practice so long – it's been nearly about three weeks right now – I just don't know what I'm going to get from him.

"We'll give him an opportunity. He'll have another day of practice under his belt. Hopefully he will get back to feeling more comfortable. He feels pretty good right now and as long as that continues we'll use him as we need him."

Sophomore guard DeVon Walker will also return on Tuesday.

The status of freshman forward Chris Walker is even less certain. The former five-star prospect failed to enroll at Florida and had to take classes to try becoming eligible at the end of the fall semester. Walker is now done with all of his schoolwork, and the Gators are waiting for him to be clear by Florida admissions and the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"In terms of his completion with what he's needed to do, he's done that," Donovan said. "Now it's kind of out of our hands, and we're just waiting to hear back of what the ruling will be in terms of him being a qualifier and being able to start school."

Donovan said that Walker won't be able to practice with the team until he is cleared by the school and the NCAA Clearinghouse. However, if that were to happen this week, Walker wouldn't be able to practice until fall exams end on Friday.

"The only thing that I can comment on now that I know is 100 percent sure is all his work has been completed and now has been turned in so it's really out of our hands," Donovan said. "We're going to wait to hear what our school says, the Clearinghouse and those kinds of things."

Another Florida website reported late Sunday that Damontre Harris was permanently dismissed from the team, but Donovan said on Monday that he isn't sure where the report came from and the redshirt junior's status hasn't changed. Donovan spoke with Harris on Thanksgiving but hasn't talked to him since.

His return would give the Gators the boost of another big man, but the conversations to get that in motion haven't happened.

"Nothing has changed in terms of what he needs to do," Donovan said. "Right now his main focus is continuing to finish up school, these guys are basically getting started with final exams and those kind of things. That's where he's at. But he and I have not spoken."

Donovan also said for the first time on Monday that guard Eli Carter will take a medical redshirt this season. After transferring from Rutgers with a broken leg, Carter hasn't shown the progress the medical staff wanted to see. The Gators will use a medical redshirt on him this year so that Carter has two years of eligibility remaining to finish his Florida career fully healthy.

"I think now it's a situation where the trainers and doctors feel like the best thing for him is to shut him down so he will not be available to play the rest of the year," Donovan said.


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