Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Some optimism for Gators' Frazier

GAINESVILLE — When he went down Saturday night, it appeared as if Florida G Michael Frazier II might be out of the lineup for a while after suffering a concussion in the game against Arkansas. But Monday, coach Billy Donovan said based on test results, the injury may not have been as severe as originally thought and Frazier could start physical activities today.

Frazier, of Tampa, was injured when his head collided with teammate Scottie Wilbekin's knee while the two were chasing a loose ball.

"He's probably going to get back to at least doing some exercise," Donovan said. "Him being back for Saturday's game (against Alabama) is probably still up in the air. They have to see how he responds, but I think he's probably right at a point where he did not pass some of his baseline tests. … It wasn't something where I think it was so significant below where they wouldn't let him do any activity.

"It probably wasn't as severe as maybe first originally thought, but I still know there's a protocol they all have to go through with the doctors and trainer, steps they've got to go through in order for him to be cleared. But I would imagine if not (Monday), (today) he'll start to get into some light exercises and see how he responds."

GATORS FALL THREE SPOTS: After going 1-1 last week, Florida dropped three spots to No. 8 in this week's Associated Press poll. The Gators are No. 6 in the USA Today coaches poll. The Gators (22-4, 12-2 SEC) play at Tennessee tonight. Florida continues to have a favorable rating in the RPI (No. 4) and Sagarin (No. 2) ratings.

PRATHER'S HOMECOMING: Florida's game at Tennessee tonight is a homecoming for junior F Casey Prather, a native of Jackson, Tenn.

"It's special because my family can come and get to see me play," Prather said. "I haven't seen them for a while, so I'll just be happy to see them."

Prather is the Gators' top sixth man right now, and his role most likely will expand with Florida missing Frazier and junior F Will Yeguete (knee).

Prather, who missed eight games this season due to a concussion and a sprained ankle (at different times), is the only Gator coming off the bench with significant experience. He's the Gators' most athletic player, coming off a game in which he had a career-high nine rebounds.

But with such depth depletion, Donovan said Prather may even have to play center at times tonight at 6 feet 6, 212 pounds.

"I've just got to come in focused," Prather said. "It's hard because we definitely miss those guys, and we definitely needed those guys to step in and help us out, but I feel like we've got good freshmen who can come in and contribute any way they can."

SEC CHAMPS: The Florida men's swimming and diving team won the SEC championship Saturday night, ending archrival Auburn's streak of 16 championships, the third-longest streak for one program in SEC history. The Gators won the title with 1,408 points and had four individual champions and one relay champion.

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @TBTimes_Gators.

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