UCF-Florida Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 22, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY - MARCH 18: Kenny Boynton #1 of the Florida Gators pushes the ball up court in overtime against the BYU Cougars during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men s basketball tournament at Ford Center on March 18, 2010 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Florida got a scare when its leading scorer exited the last game with a sprained left ankle. Although Billy Donovan's team didn't have any trouble finishing off an overmatched opponent without Kenny Boynton, he'll likely need his senior guard for this next stretch. Boynton is expected back Friday when No. 7 Florida hosts a Central Florida squad that upset the Gators in the last meeting two years ago. The O'Connell Center fell almost completely silent with 13:23 left in Tuesday's game against Savannah State, as Boynton grimaced in pain after landing on an opponent's foot while driving to the basket. The preseason all-SEC selection, who's averaging 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds, had to be helped off the court and didn't return. "I was praying he was OK," senior guard Mike Rosario told Florida's official website. Afterward, Donovan said Boynton could have returned if needed - the Gators (4-0) cruised to a 58-40 win - and should be back in the lineup Friday. "Based on his flexibility, his range of motion, those kinds of things, where he was tender, the doctor and trainer did not think that he would miss our next game," Donovan said. That's good news with Florida's schedule about to get much tougher, as matchups with Marquette, Florida State and No. 10 Arizona follow this contest. While those big-name programs are looming, the Gators are not about to overlook UCF (3-1). The Knights defeated then-No. 18 Florida 57-54 at Orlando's Amway Center on Dec. 1, 2010, after losing the first nine meetings by an average of 27.0 points. UCF, which upset fourth-ranked Connecticut last November, returns two of its three leading scorers from 2011-12 in Isaiah Sykes and Keith Clanton, but is off to an shaky start. The Knights squandered all of an 18-point second-half lead before rallying to defeat Savannah State 53-50 on Sunday, and was outscored 45-28 after halftime in Tuesday's 75-61 loss to Middle Tennessee. Sykes scored seven points in the latter after averaging 21.0 in his first three contests, but UCF got strong play down low from Clanton (15 points, eight rebounds) and Tristan Spurlock (17 points, eight boards). Clanton, who had 12 points and nine rebounds against the Gators two years ago, and Spurlock will likely have their hands full against Florida's formidable frontcourt of Will Yeguete of Patric Young. The play of Yeguete and Young in the paint is one reason why the Gators are so tough defensively, as they allow an average of 44.0 points and 30.8 percent shooting. Yeguete averages 7.5 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds and Young is coming his best performance of the season, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high six blocks against Savannah State. The 6-foot-9 junior averaged 9.7 points, 7.0 boards and 2.0 blocks in the first three contests. "Patric felt like after the first three games that he should be playing at a higher level,'' Donovan said. "He came out really focused. ... When he plays really hard with great passion and great energy, there's no way that he should not score 15 to 20 points and he should not grab between 11 and 15 rebounds every game.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker