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Scottie Wilbekin's career game not enough to earn starting spot

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 1:16 am, Wed Nov 28, 2012.

During Florida’s 79-66 win against UCF on Friday, junior Scottie Wilbekin set new career highs in four categories. He finished with 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes.

Despite his performance, Wilbekin isn’t entering the starting lineup, coach Billy Donovan said.

“This isn’t a punishment to Scottie,” Donovan said. “It’s more of me showing appreciation for what Will (Yeguete) has done for our team.”

Donovan said prior to the season that Wilbekin would start at point guard, but the junior’s Nov. 8 suspension derailed that plan.

Kenny Boynton moved from shooting guard to point guard, Mike Rosario shifted from small forward to shooting guard, and Yeguete entered the lineup at small forward.

Yeguete played mostly power forward and center in 2011-12.

“[He] had to learn an entirely different position,” Donovan said. “He’s worked hard. He’s been a real good team guy. There may be some time during this year that the decision to put Scottie back in the starting lineup would be more from a matchup standpoint.”

Donovan said Rosario will also remain in the starting lineup.

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee: During a scrimmage against Rollins College on Oct. 27, forward Casey Prather suffered a concussion. Nine days later, Prather suffered a second head injury when center Patric Young elbowed him during practice.

Prather made his season debut against UCF, recording eight points on perfect shooting and grabbing four rebounds in 13 minutes. Although Prather is healthy, trainers are making the 6-foot-6 junior wear a sparring helmet during practice for precautionary reasons.

“It says Everlast across the front and it says Muhammad Ali on the back,” Donovan said. “It’s nothing more than precautionary. Obviously with the guy having two concussions as he had so close together, I think there’s a period of time that our trainers would like to see him continue to [wear the helmet].”

Donovan said Prather is frustrated about the helmet because it hampers his vision. However, Young said Prather’s limited vision in practice will improve his reaction time during games.

“We still give him a hard time about that because it looks like he’s about to go 12 rounds with somebody every time he puts it on,” Young said. “You got to do what you got to do to stay on the court. Even if he’s looking like a clown out there, he’s still going to be playing the same basketball.”

UF open to resuming game against Georgetown: On Nov. 20, Donovan said Florida reached out to Georgetown about completing the suspended season opener at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.

The teams were set to play in the Navy-Marines Corps Classic aboard the USS Bataan on Nov. 9, but the game was called at halftime due to condensation on the court.

“I know that there was some talk as it relates to our administration at least speaking to [Georgetown] and the city of Jacksonville about the possibility,” Donovan said. “But in terms of anything definitely one way or another, playing the game or not playing the game, I’m not aware of right now.”

The game would resume in the second half and would likely happen in late December or early January — before both teams begin conference play.

Contact Katie Agostin at kagostin@alligator.org.

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