Losing Will Yeguete bound to hurt Florida

Florida was rolling along, beating a string of 10 straight foes by 14 points, climbing to No. 2 in Monday’s AP college basketball poll. Then after so much good news, the Gators have been hit by a couple of setbacks.

The first came Tuesday when Billy Donovan’s club got roughed up by the Razorbacks at Arkansas, losing 80-69 in Fayetteville.

Then Thursday came a bigger blow, with Donovan announcing that forward Will Yegute would undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and miss the next four to six weeks. Yeguete won’t be back until the post-season, if then.

How big a loss is this for the Gators? The 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward is Florida’s leading rebounder, averaging 6.3 per game. He top reserve, he averages six points and 21.9 minutes off the bench.

Yeguete broke his foot on Feb. 21 last year and missed the rest of the season. The Gators lost three straight, then rebounded to reach the West Region final in the NCAA Tournament before blowing a lead late and losing to Louisville.

“Obviously, he’s one of our, like, dirty guys,” Florida’s Mike Rosario told Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. “That’s what we would call it, like Dennis Rodman-type, grab every rebound, our hustle guy.”

Florida plays host to Mississippi State on Saturday before Kentucky travels to Gainesville for a 7 p.m. game next Tuesday.

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