Patric Young – Path to the 2014 NBA Draft: Visits with Thunder, Jazz and Mavericks

Through the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest last season. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).

Young in 2013-14 claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time but was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.

He checks in for the seventh time from Minneapolis, Minnesota, having now completed eight of his 14 total team visits scheduled ahead of the NBA Draft.

Last time I checked in I was in Oklahoma City on Sunday night, preparing for a workout with the Thunder on Monday. I did not know what to expect going there, but I was definitely excited about that visit. I had heard such great things about the people there and the organization. The city is obviously not a big city compared to some of the other places I’ve visited, but you can tell they have a die-hard fan base, like a college team.

On Sunday night, the team took all of us visiting out for dinner to Kevin Durant’s restaurant [KD’s Southern Cuisine]. It was amazing. His restaurant is amazing. If you like southern food, you’d be really happy there with the catfish, country fried steak. It was so good. I got baked catfish stuffed with crab meat; oh my God, it was incredible.

The next morning, obviously I ran into an issue before I even got to the workout. We were in a car 20 minutes away from the Thunder facility when I realized that I forgot my shoes at the hotel. I have no idea why I didn’t bring my bag, but I asked one of the guys to go back and get my shoes and they did.

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A look at how Florida beat Minnesota on the court

In an effort to provide an additional perspective on the three-seed Florida Gators 78-64 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers this past Sunday, OGGOA reached out to former Florida team manager Kyle Gilreath, who now works for Fast Model Sports and runs an interesting basketball blog Words on the Bounce. Gilreath diagrammed two plays that worked quite well for the Gators against the Gophers on Sunday during the 2013 NCAA Tournament and outlined the situations below. (Next season, OGGOA hopes to have video to accompany similar features.)

Gap: Florida ran this zone offense action several times in the first half and ended up with wide open three-pointers nearly every time head coach Billy Donovan called the play. The Gators start with three guards around the perimeter and two big men along the baseline behind the zone. Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin offsets the ball with a dribble and post as the option to flash to the mid-post area. On the catch, junior center Patric Young had three options: (1) attack the rim, (2) look for senior forward Erik Murphy with a high-low pass if he seals X4, or (3) kick it out for an open three-pointer if the zone packs in to prevent the easy layup.

15 Spread: Florida was badly hurting Minnesota with its pick-and-roll / pick-and-pop, so Gophers head coach Tubby Smith decided to start switching all ball screens in the second half. Once this happened, Donovan responded by spreading the floor and took advantage of Minnesota’s strategy. With four players outside of the perimeter, Young sprinted into a middle pick-and-roll. The Gophers switched, which led to a mismatch not only inside with Young but this also left a big man guarding Wilbekin up top. This gave the Gators two options which they went to down the stretch: (1) Wilbekin attacked the big one-on-one to get to the rim (if the defense helped on the penetration, he found Young inside or shooters spotting up in the corner) and (2) Wilbekin also threw back to the other ball-side guard who would then look to feed Young down low.

And then, of course, Wilbekin and junior F Casey Prather also connected on their second alley-oop in as many games. While Gainesville, FL may not be “Dunk City,” Wilbekin and Murphy have put up their share of highlights this season including a half-court alley-oop in Florida’s second-round take down of Northwestern State.

Animated GIF created for OnlyGators.com by photekxl.

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3/24: Florida vs. Minnesota post-game; Gators set to face Florida Gulf Coast in Sweet 16

The three-seed Florida Gators (28-7) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third-straight year and ninth time in team history with a 78-64 take down of the 11-seed Minnesota Golden Gophers (22-13) in 2013 NCAA Tournament action at the Erwin Center in Austin, TX. After the game, head coach Billy Donovan, senior forward Erik Murphy and redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario and met with the media to discuss what transpired on Sunday evening in the round of 32.

POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM CELEBRATION

Video above courtesy of GatorVision.tv

UPCOMING OPPONENT

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (26-10) defeated seven-seed San Diego State on Sunday to become the first 15-seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in NCAA Tournament history. Florida holds a 1-0 record all-time against Florida Gulf Coast, previously defeating the school located less than 300 miles south in 2008. It is also the first time in NCAA Tournament history that three schools from the state of Florida (the third being two-seed Miami) have advanced to the Sweet 16.

The showdown will commence on Friday, March 29 in Arlington, TX at 9:57 p.m. (EDT) and air live on TBS. Marv Albert (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (color commentator) and Craig Sager (sideline reporter) will be on the call for the contest.

Read the rest of the Florida-Minnesota post-game (and there’s plenty)…

Continue Reading » 3/24: Florida vs. Minnesota post-game; Gators set to face Florida Gulf Coast in Sweet 16

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Rosario’s career night propels (3) Florida over (11) Minnesota 78-64 and into Sweet 16 vs. FGCU

As dominant of a first half as the three-seed Florida Gators have put together this season coupled with a strong final nine minutes and a career-high 25 points from redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario fueled the Southeastern Conference champions to an impressive 78-64 victory over the 11-seed Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday and into their third-straight Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.

Florida head coach Billy Donovan, who earned his seventh-straight win over Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith, saw his Gators explode with a 27-5 scoring stretch in the first half that put them ahead of the Golden Gophers for good.

Senior forward Erik Murphy and redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario exploded in the first half, while junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin was a big-time spark for UF in the second half of the team’s second game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX.

Rosario went 8-for-12 from the field, 6-for-9 from downtown and 3-for-4 from the free throw line for his UF career-high 25 points. Murphy finished with 15 points on 2-of-4 shooting from three, and Wilbekin went 7-of-10 from the charity stripe to post 12 points along with a game-high six assists.

With the game tied at 10 early in the opening period, Rosario hit consecutive threes as part of a 12-2 run that pushed Florida ahead 22-12. Two more treys from Rosario, complimented by one from Murphy, helped the Gators score 11-straight points and extend their scoring stretch to 27-5. UF led 37-15 with 5:17 left in the first half.

Minnesota (21-13) responded with a 10-2 run of its own fueled by four Florida turnovers in five possessions including two especially reckless miscues from Wilbekin and cut their deficit to 14 with 3:12 remaining.

The Gators (28-7) answered with nine-straight points including a second three from Murphy and a highlight alley-oop from Wilbekin to junior F Casey Prather to go up 23.

Continue Reading » Rosario’s career night propels (3) Florida over (11) Minnesota 78-64 and into Sweet 16 vs. FGCU

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NCAA Tournament Gameday: (3) Florida Gators vs. (11) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Location: Frank Erwin Center – Austin, TX [Capacity: 16,292]
Time: 6:10 p.m. EDT

TV: TNT (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski, Otis Livingston)
SiriusXM: 93/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: NCAA.com | Mobile Video: NCAA March Madness Live
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

(3) FLORIDA GATORS (11) MINNESOTA … GOPHERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Tubby Smith
Record: 27-7 Record: 21-12
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big Ten
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -8 | O/U 125.5

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 29-10 in 13 NCAA Tournaments under Donovan and has reached at least the Elite Eight round in four of the last seven seasons (two national titles). The Gators advanced to the round of 32 for the third-straight year with a 79-47 win over Northwestern State on Friday.
» Minnesota is 1-0 all-time against Florida (74-66 in 1993 NIT). The Gators are 8-8 against members of the Big Ten under Donovan (3-2 in NCAA Tournament games).
» Smith owns a 14-10 record head-to-head against Donovan, but Donovan has been victorious the last six times the two coaches have squared off.
» Florida is 52-7 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (65-6 in 2012-13).
» The Gators have four starters that average in double figures, while the Golden Gophers have three with Trevor Mbakwe also averaging 9.9 points per game.
» UF is 4-1 against top-25 opponents this season after going 3-5 against ranked adversaries last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams.
» Florida is 0-6 this season in single-digit decisions while Minnesota is 6-7.
» The Gators are ranked first nationally in scoring margin (+18.4), second in scoring defense (53.5), fourth in field goal defense (.377), 11th in field goal percentage (.481), 15th in three-pointers per game (8.4), 17th in three-point defense (.297) and 21st in assist-turnover ratio (1.34). Florida is also sixth nationally in fouling (14.1) and 223rd in free throw percentage (.678).
» The Golden Gophers are ninth nationally in rebounding margin (7.8) and 12th in blocked shots (5.6). Minnesota is also 207th nationally in free throw percentage (.683).

Read the rest of the Florida-Minnesota gameday preview…after the break!
Continue Reading » NCAA Tournament Gameday: (3) Florida Gators vs. (11) Minnesota Golden Gophers

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3/22: Florida vs. Northwestern State post-game; Gators set to face Minnesota in round of 32

The three-seed Florida Gators (27-7) advanced to the round of 32 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament with a 79-47 take down of the 14-seed Northwestern State Demons (23-9) at the Erwin Center in Austin, TX. After the game, head coach Billy Donovan and seniors guard Kenny Boynton and forward Erik Murphy met with the media to discuss what transpired on Friday evening.

UPCOMING OPPONENT

The 11-seed Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the six-seed UCLA Bruins in the South Region’s final game of the second round on Friday. UF and Minnesota will go head-to-head on Sunday for the opportunity to advance to the Sweet 16. The Gators are 0-1 all-time against the Golden Gophers (falling 66-74 in the 1993 NIT) and Donovan is 10-14 all-time against head coach Tubby Smith (but holds a 6-0 record against his long-time foe in the last six meetings).

The game is set for 6:10 p.m. (EDT) on TNT. Tim Brando (play-by-play), Mike Gminski (color commentator) and Otis Livingston (sideline reporter) will be on the call.

OPENING STATEMENTS

Donovan, explaining what went right and wrong for Florida on Friday:

“The thing I was disappointed about in the first half was our defense; we did not do a great job. They shot over 50 percent from the field and I think 45 percent from three. And we did a much, much better job [in the second half]. I think some of that is when you’re playing a team for the first time and you haven’t really seen them before, there’s a little bit of an adjustment period, probably. And I thought our guys adjusted pretty well coming out of the half defensively.

“Then I thought we really defended well in the second half. We established inside. I thought Patric Young and Erik gave us really good post presence where we could get the ball and do good things around the basket. And I thought our back court and Kenny did a good job of finding them and getting them the ball. So it was a good win considering the fact that we came out of maybe a little bit of a slow half.”

Continue Reading » 3/22: Florida vs. Northwestern State post-game; Gators set to face Minnesota in round of 32

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SIX BITS: NBA, baseball, Tebow, women, Gillespie

1 » Former Florida Gators currently playing in the NBA collectively had an interesting last three days. Centers Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls each started March off on fire after concluding February with a career game. Horford averaged 22 points, six rebounds, 3.5 assists and three steals in two weekend games, while Noah posted two more double-doubles and averages of 17.5 points, 10 boards, five assists and 2.5 blocks in his two games. Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal posted a career-high 29 points in a double-double performance (11 rebounds) on Friday but then went down hard on Sunday with a sprained left ankle that was so painful it reportedly caused him to blackout on the court. X-rays came back negative but Beal remains day-to-day for the Wizards. Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons capped off the weekend with an explosive performance Sunday, scoring a career-high 32 points on 12-of-13 shooting (6-of-7 from downtown) in just 30 minutes. He became the first player since Larry Bird to score 30+ points, shoot 92 percent or better and attempt at least five three-pointers. Parsons, a second-round pick and second-year player, continues to be an incredibly valuable player for the Rockets; he has scored 20+ points in four-straight games.

2 » Entering the weekend unranked and losers of five-straight games to Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast (three) and North Florida, Florida baseball first dropped its sixth-straight contest before rallying to win the final two games of its weekend series against the Miami Hurricanes. The Gators (5-7) handed the Canes (10-2) their first two losses on the season, toppling their foes with a four-run eighth inning on Saturday and a four-run third inning on Sunday. Sophomore catcher Taylor Gushue (3/8, 4 RBI, R, 2 BB) led Florida offensively and helped both freshman right-handed reliever Jay Carmichael (1-1) and sophomore RHP Johnny Magliozzi (1-0) pick up their first victories of the season. UF plays five games in the next seven days including a home-and-home against Jacksonville and a three-game series at home against Indiana.

Read five more BITS of Gators news…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: NBA, baseball, Tebow, women, Gillespie

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