After Florida’s loss to Arkansas last week, head coach Billy Donovan decided to shake up the starting lineup for the Gators’ game with visiting Mississippi State on Saturday. Into the starting lineup went freshman Michael Frazier. To the bench went point guard Scottie Wilbekin.
Wilbekin ended up playing 33 minutes. He scored five points and had seven assists. Meanwhile, Frazier scored 11 points, but played just 24 minutes. And Wilbekin started the second half.
The starting lineup witch was more symbolic than anything else, said Donovan after the Gators’ 83-58 victory.
“It wasn’t a bad attitude. It wasn’t like he wasn’t trying. It wasn’t like he quit. It was nothing like that,” said the coach. “He was just not his normal Scottie Wilbekin self in practice. … I just told him, I said ‘Listen, we’re coming off a tough loss against Arkansas. We need energy, we need passion, and if you’re not going to play with passion, we’re going to start somebody else.’ ”
Wilbekin had also attempted 30 shots in Florida’s previous two games, which Donovan was not crazy about. Wilbekin was five-of-15 from the floor at Arkansas. He was two-of-four against Mississippi State.
Remember, Wilbekin was suspended at the beginning of the season.
Billy Donovan’s press conference after the win over MSU.