Florida Gators 76 – Savannah State Tigers 34: Patric Young Scores 1,000th Career Point in Blowout

Florida ended 2013 on a high note, defeating Savannah State 76-34 on Sunday in Gainesville. The Gators jumped out to a 34-11 halftime lead and never took their foot off of the gas. The 42-point win is by far the largest victory margin of the season for Florida.

Patric Young, Florida Gators

The spotlight was planted firmly on senior forward/center Patric Young. Young became the 50th Florida men’s basketball player to score 1,000 career points. He would finish the game with a team-high 15 points and add six rebounds.

“I have just been very fortunate to be on winning teams and just to be here under Coach [Billy] Donovan, one of the guys who is going to help develop his players. I can praise him for that. I couldn’t walk and chew gum when I first got here. I can do a few more things now. I just want to thank him for believing in me and helping me get better,” said Young.

After scoring the basket that put him over 1,000 points, Young would score again, ending the game with 1,003 career points. That moved him to 49th-place on the all-time list. With the majority of the season remaining, Young will have plenty of opportunities to rise even higher in the Florida history books.

Three other players joined Young in the double-digit scoring club in the win. Sophomore guard Michael Frazier II had 11 points and senior forward Casey Prather and senior guard Scottie Wilbekin both had 10. Sophomore foward Dorian Finney-Smith and sophomore guard/forward DeVon Walker tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.

The Gators led the Tigers in every major statistically category, but the most telling was field goal percentage. Florida shot 49.0% from the field while holding Savannah State to 24.5% shooting. Only two players on the Tigers’ entire roster managed to make at least half of their shots and eight players that attempted field goals didn’t connect on a single one.

At 10-2, the Gators have won four in a row heading into 2014. That momentum should serve them well in their final non-conference game of the regular season on Saturday, January 4, 2014 against Richmond. Following that, the Gators host South Carolina on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 to kick off their SEC schedule.

Basketball Assistant Coach Matt McCall Gets Raise; Florida Gators Assistant Salaries

Florida Gators basketball assistant coach Matt McCall is no longer the lowest paid member of the staff. McCall received a $40,000 raise, taking his salary to $140,000 for the 2012-12 season. The much deserved raise can be attributed to a number of things, but one that will continue to be brought up is recruiting. McCall had a hand in bringing is Dillion Graham and DeVon Walker and was a huge piece of the puzzle that will bring Kasey Hill to Florida.

McCall is the number three man on the staff and his salary now reflects that. Former Arkansas head coach and Florida assistant John Pelphrey will make exactly what he made last season – $180,000. The newcomer – Rashon Burno – will take home $120,000. All three receive $10,000 from Nike.

2012 Basketball Recruiting: Florida Signs DeVon Walker

There’s a new Walker in town.

On a day that was largely dominated by Bradley Beal’s decision to go pro, the Florida Gators received some good news with DeVon Walker’s commitment by signing his letter of intent Friday. Walker also held offers from Alabama, Clemson, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas State, Miami and UCF, but his final choice came down to the Gators and Crimson Tide.

Though Walker’s decision became official Friday, news that he had decided to play for the Gators had been leaked out earlier this week. Coincidentally, Beal’s decision came on the same day as Walker’s commitment, freeing up the scholarship space for Walker, while still leaving room for an Anthony Bennett commitment, who the Gators have been heavily recruiting.

Although Walker, a three-star recruit and the No. 142-ranked player by Rivals, may not be the same caliber as the one he’s replacing, Beal, he may still be able to help an undersized Florida team. With his 6’6″ height and his seven-foot wingspan, Walker looks to add length and athleticism to a roster consisting mostly of undersized guards. You can see an example of Walker’s athleticism here:

Due to the Gators lack of size, Walker will likely play some of both forward positions in addition to the wing.

Walker joining the Gators brings the 2012 class to a total of four new players, but it may expand to five with Bennett’s decision looming. Will the Gators land any non-guard players this year? We’ll have to wait until May to find out.

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