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Christmas Wish List: What does Florida need and want?


Mike Miller

For the next five days, Beyond the Arc will detail what some teams need. Hey, we’re in a giving mood.

Billy Donovan has already gotten an early Christmas gift, as Erik Murphy’s knee injury wasn’t all that serious. He also has plenty of presents (read: rings) from Christmas’ past that he can play with if he has too.

But its a new year and a new holiday season, which is why Santa will have no problem taking a peak at what Billy the Kid wants:

Must have: Time in practice to work on entry passes

Florida has one of the most powerful and dominating interior presences in the country in Patric Young. Seriously, he’s a freak (look at his arms in the picture to the right!), the kind of physical specimen of that we rarely see last two seasons at the college level. He’s not yet an overwhelming back-to-the-basket scorer, but he is effective in one-on-one situations. And he sees quite a few of those one-on-one situations in the post as teams are afraid to double off of Florida’s legion of sharpshooters.

The Gators are a much better offensive team when young gets a touch in the paint, but far too often their offense devolves into one of their back court players dribbling aimlessly and hoisting up a tough shot. While those shots happen to be falling right now, there is no guarantee that a career 30% three point shooter like Kenny Boynton is going to continue to make nearly half of his threes, especially when so many of them are off-the-dribble and with a hand in his face. The other issue is that Young becomes more active and aggressive when he starts getting involved offensively. He’s a better defender and rebounder. Florida may have beaten Texas A&M by 20, but the fact that Young had two shots is an issue.

Stocking stuffer: More playing time for Will Yeguete

Look, I know why Erik Murphy is out on the floor. At 6'10", Murphy may actually be the best stand-still jump-shooter on Florida’s roster. When he has a chance to get his feet set, he’s deadly. And putting a fourth deadly shooter on the floor with Patric Young in the post is a truly terrific way to create space for Young to operate on the block. (Seriously, get him touches!)

I don’t necessarily thinks that’s a bad thing, either. Murphy is a good player. I like his fit. But Will Yeguete has been terrific in the limited minutes that he has played this season. He’s an athletic and active 6'7" forward that simply makes the hustle plays. He attacks the offensive glass. He is a pest defensively. He blocks shots and creates turnovers. His presence on the court is a different mentality than the rest of the Gators. He’s a valuable piece that deserves to get more time than he does.

Planning to re-gift: Guards

Kenny Boynton. Erving Walker. Mike Rosario. Brad Beal. Tough, right? Who wants a Scottie Wilbekin? Anyone?

What other teams have Christmas wish lists? Click here.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.