University of Florida Gators Scottie Wilbekin hauls in a rebound against Norfolk State University Spartans Brandon Wheeless during their NCAA basketball tournament game in Omaha

Florida reinstates point guard Scottie Wilbekin

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Three* games, two wins and one lesson learned apparently.

Scottie Wilbekin, written in as the starting point guard at the beginning of the season, was suspended for games against Georgetown, Alabama State and Wisconsin for a violation of team rules.

As announced by head coach Billy Donovan earlier today, the Gainesville native has been reinstated but will come off the bench on Sunday when the Gators take on a Middle Tennessee team that’s one of the early favorites in the Sun Belt.

“I don’t believe in having a doghouse,” Donovan said. “To me, he starts fresh and clean. I’d be making a mistake as a coach to be constantly holding onto that. I’m expecting him to move on.”

While Florida beat both Alabama State and Wisconsin by comfortable margins the turnover count in the win over the Badgers was a concern. The Gators turned the ball over 20 times and tallied just nine assists in the 74-56 victory, which was highlighted by the 24 points (10-of-10 FG) scored by Erik Murphy.

Adding Wilbekin to the fold allows Kenny Boynton to move off the ball, which is a more natural position for him. Boynton (three assists, three turnovers) and Mike Rosario (four assists, four turnover) both broke even in regards to their assist-to-turnover ratio against Wisconsin.

The biggest offenders in regards to turnovers on that night were forwards Will Yeguete and Patric Young (zero assists and nine turnovers). Adding another ball-handler to the rotation will help the Gators, especially considering their opponent on Sunday.

Kermit Davis’ squad won 27 games last season and returns four starters (all of whom are seniors), most notably 6-2 guard Marcos Knight and 6-8 forward JT Sulton. Knight (12.5 ppg) and Jason Jones Jr. (10.0 ppg) are the lone Blue Raiders averaging double figures through two games, but seven Middle Tennessee players average at least six points per contest.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.