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Gators' Casey Prather needed more than ever now



Florida forward Casey Prather knows a lot has been expected of him up to this point, and he's yet to live up to those expectations. Nobody is more frustrated about that that Prather.

But as Florida enters the final stretch of the conference season troubled by injuries and a serious lack of frontcourt depth, the Gators need the sophomore from Tennessee more than ever.

He's just hoping he can deliver.

"It's always frustrating,'' Prather said. "Of course I came in hoping to do a little bit more on offense, hoping to help our team out a little bit more. But I'm just trying to keep a level head and keep working hard.''

Prather, a former finalist for Tennessee's "Mr. Basketball", has played in 17 games this season in a limited role. He's averaging just 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds.

But with forward Will Yeguete out indefinitely with a concussion, forward Cody Larson recovering from the flu, and center Patric Young hampered by an ankle injury, the Gators are looking to Prather for more help.

"I’m just trying to help the team any way I can,'' Prather said. "Obviously I’m going to have to step it up a little bit more for our team to win.''

Florida coach Billy Donovan said he met with Prather on Sunday, a heart-to-heart to try to instill confidence and reassure Prather he's capable of playing better. Donovan insists Prather is an excellent player in practice, which reassures him that the talent is there.

"I feel like it was a productive meeting,'' Prather said. "He was just trying to figure out how to help me translate practice into the game.''

Tonight, at Alabama, would be a nice time for that to happen for both Prather and the Gators.


[Last modified: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:31am]


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