Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Face Tough Questions Tonight; They're on the Road at Arkansas, a Team That's 17-0 at Home This Season

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Face Tough Questions Tonight; They're on the Road at Arkansas, a Team That's 17-0 at Home This Season

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

GAINESVILLE | Welcome to Florida's enigma game.

There are several questions entering tonight's Southeastern Conference contest between 14th-ranked Florida (20-6, 8-3) and Arkansas (17-9, 5-6) in Fayetteville, Ark.

- Will Florida's top reserve, Will Yeguete, play after the forward suffered his second concussion of the season in a loss a week ago to Tennessee?

- Which Arkansas team will show up? Will it be the unbeatable Razorbacks squad that is 17-0 at Bud Walton Arena or the flawed version that's winless away from it?

- Does having assistant John Pelphrey, who coached Arkansas for four seasons before being fired last year, give Florida coach Billy Donovan's team any edge in preparation or does it motivate Arkansas' veteran players?

But the biggest question of all is where is Florida right now as a team? The Gators received some tremendous fortune Tuesday night, beating an Alabama team 61-52 in Tuscaloosa that was missing its two best frontcourt players because of suspensions. UF won to snap a two-game losing skid, despite its third-lowest scoring output of the season.

Perhaps the easiest, and only, question that can be answered before tipoff is the first. Donovan said Friday that Yeguete has not been cleared to play, but has passed all five aspects on the concussion test administered to him by Florida's medical staff. As of Monday, the sophomore had passed two, but passed all five on Wednesday after missing the Alabama game. Donovan said Yeguete would participate with contact in Friday's practice and that if he was cleared, he would play against Arkansas. Yeguete is expected to travel with the team.

"He's not cleared to play yet, so a lot is going to depend on what happens here in practice," Donovan said. "After practice is over with, we travel. How he feels tonight, tomorrow morning is going to have a large impact on whether or not we can play him. If it continues on this path he could be OK, but he's still not cleared. …

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