When the schedule for the 2014-15 season was revealed, Saturday’s matchup between defending national champion UConn and Florida was expected to be one of the better non-conference games on the slate. However thanks to the struggles of both teams the game is of even greater importance to the teams, as both are in need of a quality non-conference win that would bolster their resume.
And both teams have a banged-up guard to account for in their preparations for the contest.
UConn’s Ryan Boatright suffered a thigh contusion in the team’s loss to Temple on Tuesday, and his status for Saturday’s game has yet to be determined with the preseason American Athletic Conference POY sitting out practice Thursday. Also struggling with health issues is Florida guard Eli Carter, who’s been dealing with a mid-foot sprain. According to head coach Billy Donovan, the redshirt junior is doubtful for Saturday’s game.
In his comments to the media Thursday, Donovan noted that while Carter’s been cleared by team doctors in the past the guard did not feel as if he could be effective and decided not to play as a result.
“These decisions, once the doctor and trainers clear him to go, it’s kind of on him how he feels,” Donovan said. “When he was cleared to play, he elected not to. He didn’t think he could. He felt like it was still bothering him. From our standpoint right now, whenever the doctors clear him to play, he’s going to be cleared. … That’s a decision Eli’s got to make.”
Carter’s averaging 6.7 points in 19.9 minutes of action per game this season, and Florida isn’t the deepest team either. Carter’s return to the lineup would help the Gators moving forward, but only if he feels physically capable of playing.