No. 1 Florida will get deeper in the backcourt Saturday when they host LSU, as it was reported that freshman point guard Kasey Hill has been cleared to return to game action. The Gators have played their last three games without Hill, who was forced to sit out due to a groin injury.
Head coach Billy Donovan noted in his meeting with the media on Friday that Hill hasn’t displayed any “limping or anything that I can notice where he looks hampered or bothered” during preparations for Saturday’s matchup. Florida’s won 20 consecutive games since losing at UConn on a Shabazz Napier jumper as time expired on December 2, and continuing their current run would put the Gators in a good position when it comes to earning the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
Hill’s averaging 5.6 points and 3.1 assists per game for Florida, and his return should help starter Scottie Wilbekin as Florida prepares for a run at the program’s third national title. Wilbekin’s averaging 34.0 minutes per game on the season, so he’s clearly used to logging a lot of minutes. But in the three games Florida played without Hill, Wilbekin averaged 37 minutes per game and played 38 minutes in wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
If Hill’s effective once back in the rotation, maybe Florida can get Wilbekin a couple more minutes of rest ahead of tournament play. And with Hill and Wilbekin being Florida’s only true point guard options, being at full strength at the position is important if the Gators are to win a national title.