The Florida roster took another hit Tuesday afternoon, after it was announced that senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin will be out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain he suffered in Monday night’s heartbreaking road loss to UConn.
Wilbekin scored 15 points and grabbed three boards to go along with a pair of assists and turnovers, but late in the game he came down awkwardly on Ryan Boatright’s foot and did not return. It was his third game back from suspension, which kept him out of action for the team’s first five games.
Following Monday night’s loss, Billy Donovan told reporters that Rutgers transfer Eli Carter will reportedly redshirt this season, as the junior guard is recovering from a broken leg he suffered in February. Freshman point guard Kasey Hill has been sidelined nearly a month with an ankle injury of his own. With Carter also out for Monday’s game, Wilbekin was the only point guard on the roster, logging 35 minutes with most of his rest coming before and during official TV timeouts.
When Wilbekin went down it was up to forward Dorian Finney-Smith to man the ball-handling duties.
The injuries have piled up at the worst possible time for Florida. The Gators are in the middle of an insanely tough stretch, which started last night in Storrs. The shorthanded Gators have a week off before hosting Kansas, followed by a matchup with Memphis at Madison Square Garden, part of the Jimmy V Classic.
Despite the uncertainty of all three point guards, Florida received some potentially good news, as five-star freshman Chris Walker may make his collegiate debut against Memphis on Dec. 17.
The 6-foot-10 forward won’t help much in the point guard department, but at this point Donovan will take every healthy body he can.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.