Florida finished up a Tuesday night road loss at Tennessee without the services of Will Yeguete, Michael Frazier II, and Casey Prather. It was the Gators’ third SEC loss since February 5th, probably costing the Gators a #1 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament… for now.
The upside? All three banged-up players have now been cleared to resume practice. This as the Gators prepare for a Saturday home date with Alabama who now sits just one game behind them in the SEC standings.
Prather left Tuesday’s game late after colliding with a teammate and suffering a forehead gash. Frazier missed the Tennessee contest altogether with a concussion he suffered Saturday as Florida hosted Arkansas. Yeguete played just one minute of UF’s road loss at Arkansas back on February 5th. He had surgery to remove bone chips from his knee three days later and his been out ever since.
After starting SEC play 8-0, Billy Donovan’s squad has gone 4-3 since Yeguette’s early exit at Fayetteville.
If Florida can get everyone back on the floor and back into the groove they’d found prior to the injuries, there’s still time for the 22-5 Gators to make another push for a top seed in the NCAA tourney. Defense and rebounding will be the key. With Yeguette, Frazier and Prather healthy, UF allowed just 48.6 points per game in its first eight SEC games. That’s a ridiculous number. But without his full complement of players, Donovan has seen his squad give up 60.4 points per game in the seven contests since Yeguete’s brief cameo at Arkansas.
If Florida is healthy and their defense returns to pre-injury form, look out for the Gators at the SEC Tournament.