Make us your home page

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

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

  1. Steven Souza's two passions collide in charity fantasy football event

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Steven Souza knows a thing or two about football.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 23, 2017.
  2. Vibe is good around Clearwater volleyball this season

    Volleyball Preps

    CLEARWATER — Katy Rice knows what a good volleyball team looks like, and the Clearwater coach believes she has a pretty good one this year. Rice was a left-side hitter on the only two teams to win a volleyball state championship at Clearwater, in 1997 and 2000.

    Clearwater High School girl's volleyball player Hailey Bosetti (OPP) plays the ball during team practice on Monday (8/14/17) at the school in Clearwater.
  3. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'


    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Jameis Winston sarcastically tells offensive linemen James Stone and James Harrison he's glad glad they're having fun while quarterback Ryan Griffin is being attended to in the locker room by the Bucs medical staff. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Highlights — and fights — from Jacksonville


    Greg Auman is back home after two days of joint practices between the Bucs and Jaguars in Jacksonville. He recaps those practices — and fights — and talks about highlights from Tuesday's episode …

    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kenneth Walker, right, cannot snag a pass against Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith during a joint NFL football practice Monday in Jacksonville. [Will Dickey/Florida Times-Union]
  5. Who's No. 2: Florida State Seminoles or Ohio State Buckeyes?


    The toughest decision in my first stint as a voter for the AP Top 25 came at the top.