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HOOPS: M.A.S.H UNIT: Prather out; Wilbekin, Young hobbled for Arkansas

GAINESVILLE -- Senior forward Casey Prather, No. 10 Florida's leading scorer and one of the most improved players in the country, will miss Saturday's game at Arkansas (1 p.m., ESPN2) with a bruised knee.

Prather, averaging 17.1 points per game while shooting a league-high 63 percent from the field, banged his knee during UF's win over South Carolina on Wednesday and missed the last two days of practice with significant swelling.

011413-CBK-gators-casey-prather-LN-PI_20130114154358139_660_320(Courtesy msn.foxsports.com)

Florida feared potential structural damage to its star forward, but an MRI revealed only swelling.

"We actually thought maybe there had been some cartilage tear," coach Billy Donovan said Friday. "But his knee structure, all that stuff is fine but he is out tomorrow."

Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who sprained his right ankle late against USC, also missed practice this week but should play against the Razorbacks.

Donovan labeled Wilbekin's status as "questionable," before adding, "I would say he'll probably give it some kind of try. We'll see what we can get out of him, but I really don't know at this time."

Wilbekin is not expected to start. 

Meanwhile, senior center Patric Young is battling knee tendinitis, but said, "When the buzzer sounds I think I'll be ready to go."

Donovan wasn't so sure, calling Young "questionable" for Saturday's road game.

"He did not practice today, so I mean he's cleared to play but I don't know how much we'll actually be able to get out of him."

With Prather out and Wilbekin and Young hobbled, Florida's recently revived depth will be tested again.  

The Gators will square off against a Razorbacks team dominant at home -- winners of 25-straight at Bud Walton Arena -- with a new-look lineup, as freshman point guard Kasey Hill, sophomore swingman DeVon Walker and sophomore forward Dorian-Finney Smith possibly join the starting five.  

NOTE: Freshman forward Chris Walker, who continues to wait for clearance by the NCAA, was seen leaving the practice facility Friday but his status was not updated.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton 


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Anything on Jalen Tabor and Brandon Powell? Not just flips to the Gators, but enrolled as well. To bad about Chris Lammons, but he was destined to be a Safety with all the corner talent. Benjamin declares, paves the way for Lane to FSU, but don't count out Grier swaying him to not flip until atleast the very last min. and then who knows. But a HUGE get would be Thomas Holley the 5-Star DT out of Brooklyn, NY. that could flip from Penn. St. to the Gators. If Franklin doesn't retain the DL Coach, he's all Gator and a Stud.

U dUmb clUcks looose 4-Stars and replace them with unranked and shooting 2-star scrubs ... Gators looose 4-Stars and replace them with 4 n 5-Star Studs.

but then again... U are U... The new U, Penn. St. SoUth U.

Friday morning, during the week he was expected to report to Coral Gables as an early enrollee, Deerfield Beach running back Brandon Powell had a sudden change of heart, decommitting from the Hurricanes and choosing instead to enroll at Florida.

According to Deerfield Beach coach Allen Jackson, Florida has always been one of Powell’s top choices, but the school didn’t offer a scholarship until Monday. That’s when things changed for the Sun Sentinel Class 8A-7A-6A Player of the Year, who had been a Miami commit since last summer. He had initially been committed to Tennessee.

“He just got to Gainesville. I spoke with his dad and they were just driving and arriving on campus,” Jackson said Friday morning. “Florida was always a place he wanted to go. When they first came aboard his junior year, he was very interested and he said if Florida would give him an offer, he’d go. But they never came around until Monday. It was always in his heart. That kind of threw the big wrench in. We’ve been struggling with this all week.”


In the next 3 weeks, much more of the same to come for U ...

Florida continued its sizzling recruiting streak in 2014 by snagging its third commitment in a little more than 24 hours from running back and former Miami commit Brandon Powell, who flipped to the Gators after receiving an offer from Florida, according to Zach Abolverdi of The Gainesville Sun.

Powell, a running back from Deerfield Beach High School who will enroll early, was committed to Miami since August, but jumped at the opportunity to pledge to his childhood dream school after receiving the offer on Wednesday. Powell is rated as a four-star athlete by ESPN and had offers from Miami, Nebraska, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others.


Can U see the signing day finish line ? ... no ? Ur outta gas.

Why ?

Golden and his buddy are manning the "NO GAS" signs at Ur gas pumps.

Winter Park defensive end Trent Harris expected to be getting to know his new college roommate today, just a day after his mother dropped him off for his first semester at the University of Miami.

But as he was awaited the arrival of Brandon Powell, the social media stratosphere filled up with a where's-Waldo-like report of Powell's whereabouts as the Deerfield Beach running back's change-of-heart played out over Twitter.

He was driving up I-95, he was in Ocala, he's arrived in Gainesville ... his progress was plotted like a Santa Claus map on Christmas eve. This trip, however, was quite real.

The talented 5-foot-9, 180-pound running back made an 11th-hour decision to bail on the Hurricanes to help fill a huge void in the 2014 recruiting class of the Florida Gators. There was apparently a snag in his transcripts, but that information is not clear.

Harris said the last he had talked to Powell was "a couple of days ago" when it seemed clear that both would be sharing the same room by Thursday. Harris will likely now be paired up with Joseph Yearby, a Miami Central running back who will be enrolling early, as well.

Deerfield Beach coach Allen Jackson told Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Friday morning, "He just got to Gainesville. I spoke with his dad and they were just driving and arriving on campus."


gUess who's next ?

Ur O.G.

Kind've funny how it goes from everyone is jumping ship, to everyone is jumping ship from the canes and on board with the Gators. The trolls are awfully quiet. Hilarious! Reality is setting in real quick that after 10 years of sorriness, nothing is changing anytime soon!

Gatordumb...U better hope something is changing soon. U were 4-8 last year and lost to div ll ga southwest. Good thing noone told powell about the oline blocking each other and letting defender waltz into the backfield. This is gonna be fun to watch yet another star burn in the atmosphere that is gainesville.

Hey i have an idea....maybe yall can get the ga ESE's oline to step up to div l . They held tbeir own against your d better than your half current oline held up to a div ll d. Just a thought. Powell is in for a rude awakening lol.

Hilarious how you just grasp onto one thing and beat it to death! Till Georgia Southern it was Louisville, which was classic since they destroyed you worse than us. You better hope GS doesn't wind up on the canes schedule next year! That last line is hilarious coming from a cane fan where stars burn up on a regular basis! Again, I'm still not sure what it is you have to be excited about next year. Williams was the backup for a reason and it certainly wasn't because he was better than the int machine Morris. And that defense is an absolute joke! Mark my words, the Gators will be better than the canes who will put up an 11th straight year of mediocrity. But you'll continue running your mouth as if its an 11th straight national title.

For thiose asking: There will be a recruiting update in a day or two. I plan on doing one or two a week until NSD with so much movement happening.

Jesse, cant wait to hear about the rats jumping ship at uf and de commits by the tens. This kid did not want to compete with one of the top RB in NCAA football at the U so he chose a program with no top RB and a janitor for a coach.

Sorry OC that wasn't the reason -- he didn't want to get MRSA virus in your broken down, unsanitary facilities.

Jls, Lou, Peeu whatever you are posing as, don't the gators play at The Sewer? Isnt that what they call that dump at the truck stop exit, home of the worlds largest trailer park Gville? You senility is becoming worse lou lou

I don't disagree with Lou.

Maybe you guys can dig deep and endeavor on another huuuuuge $5M renovation. What is that gonna buy, TP for the port-a-lets?

No we are a private college. We dont pay 10 times the value for things that government ran instituions buy. we now have better facilities than most schools at 1/10th the price. U can twist mayes and holtzs words any way U want but it still makes U look stoopid for trying to put words in their mouths. Its kinda like me saying meyer told Hernandez to shoot up gville and johnson would take care of it. Well thats not a good example because its half true , but U get my point.

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