In many ways, Florida junior center Patric Young is still developing. NBA scouts look at his physique — a chiseled 6-foot-9, 249 pounds — and think that he should dominate inside at the college level.
But in his second season as a starter, Young has learned not to be a bull in the china shop when battling for position with smaller players or driving in the lane. His fouls are down. His conditioning has improved. He’s staying on the floor longer.
Another area of improvement for Young this season is rebounding. Young posted his fifth double-double of the season on Saturday against Ole Miss (13 points, 12 rebounds). He had four double-doubles in 32 starts last season.
Young was asked Monday if he should be getting a double-double every night: “Is that a goal?” Young responded. “I’m a guy that’s going to go out there and give the best I can. If I get one, I get one. If I don’t, I don’t. As long as I can look back at the end of the game and say I gave it all I could.”
Florida coach Billy Donovan said following the Ole Miss game that Young chased the ball as well off the backboards as he has seen “in a long period of time.” Young is up to 6.8 rebounds per game, a modest improvement from the 6.4 per game he posted last season. In Florida’s rebounding scheme, Young’s block-out responsibilities often open things up for other guards and forwards to grab some boards.
Another factor that limits Young’s rebounding numbers is teammate Will Yeguete, whose rebounding instincts are uncanny. Yeguete averages 6.7 rebounds per game in 22 minutes off the bench. Translated to starter’s minutes (30 per game), Yeguete would average more than 8 rebounds per game.
“There’s certain guys that just have a knack and an ability to get their hands on balls, to read rebounding,” Donovan said of Yeguete. “He’s instinctively a very, very good rebounder because he can rebound out of his area.”