Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Patric Young keys Gators NCAA hopes

AUSTIN, Texas — Patric Young sat among several of his Florida teammates Saturday afternoon to talk about tonight's NCAA Tournament third-round game against No. 11 seed Minnesota, but it was clear he wasn't in the mood for conversation.

He appeared a little on edge. Which is exactly where the Gators want him.

The game and the right to advance to the Sweet 16 most likely will be won in the trenches — and both Florida and Minnesota are well aware of that. What Florida needs badly is the aggressive, hustling Young who helped secure a win in Friday night's second-round game against Northwestern State.

"We need him playing with a motor …" Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "When he does what he did (Friday), not so much the scoring, but the chasing of the balls and rebounding and the defense and being in the lane and clogging it up, it makes us a better team. And we need that from him as long as we continue to play, because when he doesn't do that, we're not the same team."

The Golden Gophers led the Big Ten this season in rebounding margin (plus-8.2) and boast the league's top rebounder in senior forward Trevor Mbakwe, who averages 8.8 rebounds and 9.9 points.

"We've got to make sure we do a good job rebounding," Gators junior forward Will Yeguete said. "I think we did a good job in the second half (Friday) and we just got to keep it up, box them out and make sure we take care of the ball."

Which may be easier said than done. The Gators had nine consecutive games before the SEC tournament quarterfinal in which they gave up double-digit offensive rebounds, seven in which they were outrebounded.

The Gophers hope to put pressure on the frontcourt but are keenly aware Florida's style of play may alter that plan.

"(They are like) Wisconsin and Michigan State because they take you out of what you want to do, and they turn you over, they press," Mbwakwe said. "They switch defenses a lot. Patric Young, he claws up the front court a lot, and they have a lot of good frontcourt players."

While the Gators are battling inside, they'll also have to contain the guard duo of Austin Hollins and Andre Hollins. Andre had 28 points and nine rebounds in Friday night's win over UCLA, Austin added 16 points and the Golden Gophers scored 34 in the paint.

"He's a great scorer and he can score in a multitude of ways," UF guard Scottie Wilbekin said of Andre Hollins. "So I've really got to just be ready and I've got to count on my guys to help me if I get beat. Just be ready to contain him and don't let him get any easy shots, always have a hand in his face."

Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said his concern is his team's inconsistency and how well it will be able defend Florida's offense.

"We have been a good rebounding team, but sometimes we don't rebound," Smith said. "That's something we do well probably because we don't shoot the ball well, we have to go get the second shot — there's a lot more second shots for us. We gave up quite a few second shots, which is a concern against Florida. They're very athletic, quick to the ball, so we have got to work extremely hard to box them out."

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Patric Young keys Gators NCAA hopes 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Erasmo Ramirez #30 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Wilson Ramos feeling good and confident, eyeing late June return to Rays

    Blogs

    Sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout in his full catcher's gear, Wilson Ramos talked excitedly Tuesday about the progress in his recovery from right knee surgery and the potential to be back in the major leagues by this time next month.

    "I feel like a player right now,'' Ramos said.

    Wilson Ramos is aiming to be back with the Rays by this time next month.
  3. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021

    Bucs

    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 


Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  4. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback

    Blogs

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

    The Bucs are hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick can provide the solution to their puzzle at backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.
  5. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 5:32: 2B Brad Miller (abdominal strain) is not doing much in the way of baseball activity yet so that means he won't be ready when eligible to come off the DL on Friday. ... SS Matt Duffy (left heel) said he is still slowed by the big left toe he bruised taking BP on Saturday and does not have a date to …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.