Donovan Upbeat About Addition of Wilbekin

After two seasons of being extremely thin in the backcourt, Florida coach Billy Donovan thinks the addition of freshman Scottie Wilbekin will give him a lot more options in the 2010-11 season. Wilbekin decided to skip his senior season at The Rock School in Gainesville in order to join the Gators for this upcoming campaign.

Scottie Wilbekin is someone Florida has been aware of for a long time since the 6-2 guard played in many of the same basketball camps and tournaments as Billy Donovan's son among others. Donovan talked about the process by which Wilbekin went from a 2011 prospect to a member of the year's signing class.

"We definitely had Scottie on our radar and were recruiting him. It really came down to one, did Scottie really want to do that and forego his senior year? And two, was it something he felt like he could take on and he could handle. I told him it's not going to be easy. It's going to be an adjustment period for him and he can't get caught up if he makes a decision like this and say, oh I wish I was back in high school. I think any freshman goes through a lot of ups and downs. I've always liked Scottie and known him a long time. He basically grew up with my son in a lot of ways in the same circles playing basketball."

A big reason for Wilbekin coming in now is that he can fill a definite need for next season's Gator team. Wilbekin should be able to help the Gators reduce the total number of minutes played by Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton last season. Donovan said Wilbekin will definitely give the Gators something they really needed.

"The one thing Scottie does is give us a pure point guard and a guy who understands his role. He knows coming in that his role his job is to spell those guys and allow us to play a style of play where we can go up and down a little bit more. Last year we even put Chandler up on the point some. We still have that flexibility next year to play Chandler there, but now with a guy like Scottie we got a guy who's six foot two and we can play Walker, Boynton and him together. We can slide Walker over to the two. We can play Chandler at the two with him. I think it creates some versatility with our team."

Donovan said that versatility and depth should let the Gators do something things that they have not been able to do the past couple of seasons.

"I think we have two really good pressing guards in Walker and Boynton. The problem was as the season starts to unfold and those guys are playing (close to) 35 minutes it's really hard to ask those guys to do that and as important as they were to us offensively to also ask them to put the ball in the basket. I think those guys had very good seasons last year, but statistically they did not shoot the ball particularly well. (Boynton .376 FG, Walker .339) The biggest thing we have to offensively is improve our shooting percentages. Walker and Boynton have to improve their shooting percentages. That has to be a point of emphasis for those guys. Hopefully with a guy like Scottie or a guy like (Casey) Prather we can rest those guys a little bit."

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