Power forward Will Yeguete, who gave the Florida Gators much of their toughness in this year’s run to the Elite Eight, may be facing off-season knee surgery.
Yeguete, a junior forward from Bordeaux, France, averaged 5.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals for the Gators. Never a great threat to score, he powered in 13 points in the regional final loss to Michigan.
The decision to have knee surgery is Yeguete’s alone, according to his head coach.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Yeguete dealt with the injury all season long, taking stop gap measures to ameliorate the swelling and pain.
But Yeguete could need more extensive offseason surgery as a long-term solution.
Yeguete averaged 22.3 minutes in the NCAA Tournament, but he did need fluid drained from his knee between the second and third games.
“(Surgery) is definitely an option that will be on the table that they’re really going to look and consider I think probably very strongly,” coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s going to have to make a decision.”
Yeguete may never be an offensive star for Florida, but his defensive presence will be a crucial part of the team’s postseason hopes in 2014. The Gators have made the Elite Eight in three consecutive seasons, and are hoping to break through to the Final Four and beyond.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.