Relatively injury-free for most of the season, save for some bumps and bruises, the No. 1 Florida Gators (32-2) will enter the 2014 NCAA Tournament dealing with an unexpected ailment as freshman point guard Kasey Hill has been deemed questionable for UF’s second-round game on Thursday with turf toe.
According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson, Hill was examined on Wednesday when Florida arrived at the Amyway Center in Orlando, FL ahead of its showdown against the 16-seed Albany Great Danes (19-14) on Thursday afternoon.
He will be re-evaluated during the Gators’ Thursday morning shoot-around, according to Thompson, with his status likely to be determined at that time.
Turf toe marks the third injury Hill has suffered this season.
After beginning the campaign as Florida’s starting point guard for four games while senior Scottie Wilbekin served a five-game suspension, Hill missed four contests with a high-ankle sprain suffered on Nov. 18, 2013 against Southern.
He was absent for three more games in February while dealing with a groin injury but has played his best ball over the Gators’ last six contests, averaging 5.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 19.3 minutes per game during that span.
Though Hill spells Wilbekin as Florida’s primary reserve point guard, he also spends time on the court alongside UF’s floor general. He has proven to be a spark off the bench for UF and a capable (albeit inconsistent) playmaker in his first year of college ball.
The Gators may choose to rest Hill even if he is cleared to play on Thursday as sophomore guard Michael Frazier II would be more than capable of filling in temporarily to handle the ball against the Great Danes.
It is more important for Florida to have Hill healthy for the duration of the tournament than against Albany on Thursday at 4:10 p.m.