Playing without a true point guard won’t be a problem Monday night when Florida plays Jacksonville. That’s because senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin will return from his five game suspension. Wilbekin will play his normal minutes and possibly even start. The 6’2″ Wilbekin, Florida’s best on ball defender and playmaker, averages 32 minutes with 9.1 points, 5 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
Florida comes into the game with a 4-1 record, getting two wins last week against Middle Tennessee State and Southern. The Gators moved up one spot in both the AP and Coaches’ Poll to 15 and 13, respectively. Forward Casey Prather has lit up the scoreboard this season, averaging 17.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Another bright spot since his return from suspension is forward Dorian Finney-Smith. DoeDoe, as he’s affectionately known, has been effective as a point forward, handling the ball up the court. He’s also averaging 13 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville beat Florida A&M last week to improve to 2-3 on the season. In the Dolphins’ wins, they allowed 72 points. In JU’s losses, they’ve given up at least 87 points. Sophomore guard Jarvis Haywood leads Jacksonville with 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, shooting 53.3% on the year from the field. Florida’s defense should be focused on stopping him, and with Wilbekin back, it makes it that much easier.
Monday’s meeting is the 35th time UF and JU have met, with Florida holding the edge 29-5. The Gators are 8-0 versus the Dolphins at Veterans Memorial Arena where the game will be played. Florida dominated Jacksonville 107-62 last year in the O’Connell Center. This years’ meeting should prove to be no different. You can see the game live on Fox Sports Florida if you live in Florida, or WatchESPN if you don’t live in an SEC state. Otherwise the game can be found on GatorVision for premium account holders. And if worse-comes-to-worse, you can always listen to the live radio broadcast on 103.7 The Gator by listening to Mick Hubert and Mark Wise online.
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