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Gators will go with 2 point guards on floor at same time against Memphis

Posted: December 17, 2013 - 1:19am
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Florida coach Billy Donovan liked what he saw when guards Scottie Wilbekin (5) and Kasey Hill were on the floor at the same time.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Florida coach Billy Donovan liked what he saw when guards Scottie Wilbekin (5) and Kasey Hill were on the floor at the same time.


When: 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York.

TV/Radio: ESPN/WFJX (930-AM).

Records: Florida 7-2, Memphis 7-1. Unviersity of Florida Gators appUF Gators app for your smartphone or tablet
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University of Florida point guards Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill had not played in the same game this season prior to last week’s 67-61 victory over Kansas, thanks to a suspension that kept Wilbekin out the first five games and an ankle injury that sidelined Hill for three games.

UF coach Billy Donovan gave Gator fans a taste of the two on the court at the same time against the Jayhawks and liked the results enough to plan on increasing their time together Tuesday when the 16th-ranked Gators (7-2) play No. 15 Memphis (7-1) at 9 p.m. in the second game of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Wilbekin one of the senior leaders for the Gators, would move to shooting guard and Hill at the point when they’re in the game at the same time. Donovan said the reason is easy: Wilbekin has the overall experience and team-first concept to play off the ball.

“Scottie doesn’t care about position,” Donovan said on Monday. “He knows what’s going on. He’s very cerebral, very smart and their chemistry together is fine.”

Donovan said in some situations he would move Michael Frazier II to small forward and beef up the Gators’ outside shooting.

There might be matchup issues against some teams by playing a backcourt of the 6-foot-2 Wilbekin and the 6-1 Hill, and also putting a 6-4 player (Frazier) at small forward.

But not against the Tigers and their all-senior backcourt of Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson. Their average height is roughly the same as Florida’s trio.

Donovan said he may need all the quickness he can muster.

“They shoot 3s, they’re very aggressive on defense and they’re a terrific transition team, very explosive,” Donovan said. “We need to guard them very well.”

Wilbekin and Hill also have been extremely efficient this season, combining for only 13 turnovers in 269 minutes. Their 43 assists give them an assist-to-turnover ratio of plus 3.3.

Wilbekin was named the SEC player of the week after scoring 18 points and collecting six assists and four steals against Kansas.

Garry Smits: (904) 359-4362