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Patric Young has always been recognized as a physical freak.
Ever since he arrived in Gainesville three years ago as a chiseled freshman, Young has effectively played the role of powerful enforcer. He has clogged the lane and protected the rim, providing the Gators with a one-man interior defensive presence.
Now, going into his senior season at Florida, Young has finally been identified as one of the best big men in the country, according to ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan. The 6’9”, 249-pound post player is listed as a second-team preseason All-American.
Brennan noted that: "Young had an excellent 2012-13, adding offensive efficiency (including 58.6 percent shooting inside the arc) to his usual diet of rebounds and blocks (he blocked 6.9 shots per 100 possessions)."
However, head coach Billy Donovan has many more frontcourt options this coming year than usual. Returning with Young will be shutdown defender extraordinaire, Will Yeguete.
GatorNation’s Michael DiRocco reported that Yeguete just had his second knee surgery this year. His recovery is projected to be four months.
The Gators also welcome two talented transfers onto their roster.
Dorian Finney-Smith, a 6’8” SF from Virginia Tech, was a starter for the Hokies and a 2012 ACC All-Freshmen selection. He averaged 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in his one and only year playing in Blacksburg.
Damontre Harris, a 6’10”, 230-pound center, provides size and bulk in the lane. Gatorcountry.com’s Seth Puglio states that:
Where Harris really shines is on the defensive end, a trait that must have Billy Donovan smiling for ear to ear. Elected to the SEC All-Defensive team player at South Carolina in 2012, Harris averaged 2.3 blocks per game, second in the SEC only to future number one NBA draft pick and block guru Anthony Davis at Kentucky.
Along with Finney-Smith and Harris, Donovan signed the No. 12 player in the 2013 recruiting class, uber-athletic PF Chris Walker.
With all of these frontcourt alternatives, one of two results is likely.
All of this talent could push Young to finally become the dominant force that everyone has anticipated. Because he will not be the only player to do work down low, he will be freed up to become an overpowering beast on the block.
Or, all of this talent will allow Donovan to rotate multiple players in the post, diminishing the opportunity that anyone, including Young, has to become a star.