Florida could be banking on star freshman
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE — In Billy Donovan’s 17 years as the head coach at Florida, he’s never invested as heavily in a freshman as he could be this season.
There have been several who played key roles on Final Four teams. But none was handed the keys to the car and told to drive the program to greatness — that is, the starting point guard. This year could be the exception with McDonald’s All-American Kasey Hill arriving to possibly save the day.
Frustrated with senior Scottie Wilbekin, who was suspended at the start of last season with a yet to be official suspension to start this one also expected, Hill will likely start the schedule as the starter.
And while Hill is still adjusting to the college game, he already sounds like a senior when it comes to being tactful.
“He was the starting point guard the last couple of years,” Hill said of Wilbekin. “He knows a lot more than me, he’s way more advanced than me so I look up to him. we have a great relationship. He’s a great kid, he’s one of the leaders on the team.”
Donovan, whose Gators (29-8 last season) open the year as the No. 8 team in the first USA TODAY Sports coaches poll on Nov. 1 with an exhibition against Florida Southern before starting the regular season a week later vs. North Florida, only recently allowed Wilbekin to rejoin the team for workouts after his most recent violation of team rules in June. A member of three Elite Eight teams, Wilbekin was second in the SEC in assists (5.0) a year ago and was a second-team preseason All-SEC selection at the league’s media event.
But Hill has the potential to be a great guard as well if he can make the transition from being a star prep recruit to the college game. And he’s the one thing Florida could have been missing the last three years — … [For more on Florida could be banking on star freshman PG Kasey Hill, click here.]