Historical night for Young in win

With the game in hand early in the first half, Florida head coach Billy Donovan wanted to get Patric Young back in the game to get his milestone. Young checked back into the game with 9:55 left to play and the Gators holding a 60-24 lead, and Donovan told him to be ready for plays to be run at him. The senior center wasn't sure what to think.

"He said, ‘well coach, I don't want to force anything.' That's just the kind of kid he is," Billy Donovan said. "We wanted to get the (1,000-point mark) done today, and we're really happy that it happened.

Before the week of preparation for Savannah State, Young wasn't looking at the numbers. There wasn't a countdown in his head and he wasn't eyeing the numbers after every game. Sunday afternoon in the O'Connell Center was different -- and not by choice.

At random times when Young ran down the floor, a fan would yell at him to remind him how far he was from the milestone.

"Four more, Pat! Two more! One more!" Patric Young recalled with a laugh after the game that ended in a 76-34 win for the Gators.

Young's first opportunity to hit the 1,000-point mark came when he was fouled in the act of shooting with 9:44. After he hit the first free throw to move to 999 career points, the crowd stood to its feet and started to applaud the chance for the milestone. With an ear-to-ear grin, Young stepped to the line but missed the free throw short as a loud moan came from the crowd.

Amidst "let's go, Patric" chants from the crowd over the next two minutes, Young corralled an offensive rebound when Casey Prather missed an dropped it into the hoop. When the ball went through the basket, Donovan sent Dorian Finney-Smith to the scorer's table to check in and give Young the rest of the night off.

But the Florida senior wasn't done.

He recorded a steal on Savannah State's next trip down the basket, and after Scottie Wilbekin missed a three-pointer on the way back, Young grabbed an offensive rebound and used an impressive move to get back to the basket for another two points.

At the next dead ball minutes later, Young came off the court to a standing ovation of 10,508 in the crowd. The public address announcer congratulated Young for the accomplishment, drawing another standing ovation from the O'Connell Center crowd.

"That was something I'll really remember," Young said.

"I just want to thank Coach Donovan for developing my game, my teammates for finding me and for finishing some shots."

The unselfishness of Young is what has always stood out to his head coach. He doesn't always put up the big statistical numbers, but the senior center is willing to do whatever his team needs and help the team in any way that he can.

"Patric is as unselfish of a player as I've been around. It'll be something later in his life when he looks back that he'll realize that 1,000 points is always a milestone. Patric has been a real team guy ever since he has been here. He doesn't make anything about himself. I was happy for him to get it tonight.

"I was happy for him and I was happy for the crowd and how they cheered him on."


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