GAINESVILLE — It should have been one of those early season contests against a lesser opponent, a tuneup for the tougher part of the schedule, with little drama or fanfare.
Instead, Florida's 67-53 victory over Southern on Monday night at the O'Connell Center left the Gators (3-1) without their only true point guard.
With 18:04 remaining in the game, freshman Kasey Hill was fouled on a drive, causing his left ankle to take a gruesome, awkward turn.
Hill sustained a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least one month. He averaged 11 points and 4.7 assists in three games, filling in while starter Scottie Wilbekin remains suspended indefinitely.
UF next plays Middle Tennessee and Jacksonville, then a tough stretch of FSU (Nov. 29), UConn (Dec. 2), Kansas (Dec. 10), Memphis (Dec. 17) and Fresno State (Dec. 21).
"It's one of those sprains where it's certainly a longer healing process, and when you try to rush guys back too soon it normally complicates things," coach Billy Donovan said. "In talking to the doctor and talking to our trainer, the minimum right now is we're looking at a month before we can consider getting him back on the floor. It's a part of the game. We'll have to find some different ways to compensate for his absence."
Hill screamed as he went to the ground and spent about a minute writhing in pain under the basket, then was helped off.
"I thought it was his knee," said senior center Patric Young, who had 12 points and six rebounds. "He was just spinning in pain and I was just trying to talk to him real quick and get him calmed down. … Of course we were thinking now that we don't have a true point guard on our squad right now. Who knows when Scottie's coming back? So I was just thinking about the next game. Not having him out there is going to change everything a little bit."
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]