Posted: 12:25 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2013
By Andy Hutchins
With Florida's loss to Michigan in the Elite Eight on Sunday, the Gators' focus shifted from the 2012-13 season, and the pursuit of their Final Four dream, to dealing with the aftermath of it and preparing for next season.
The Florida traveling press corps had to shift focus, too: Without another game to prep for, the new thing most would want to know is the status of junior center Patric Young, regarded as an NBA Draft prospect. Young told reporters after the loss that he remained undecided about jumping to the pros, but also used the phrase "to make sure we can have another spectacular season," according to The Palm Beach Post's Jason Lieser, which seems like a tip.
But report after report suggests that Young will stay for his senior season. Lieser reports that Young is on track to graduate in December, but only if he takes classes this summer, which, as Lieser notes, suggests he's got a final year at Florida mapped out; GatorZone's Chris Harry notes that Young is best friends with Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, and roommate Will Yeguete, all fellow members of his 2011 recruiting class, and surmises that there's "a very good chance" Young will stick around.
And those are just the people working from publicly available facts. Dig even a little on message boards and you'll find threads like this one at 247Sports, where someone who claims to have sat with Pat's father on a plane to Dallas says he's coming back.
At the same time, people further from Florida seem to be more bullish on Young's departure. ESPN's Chad Ford doesn't have Young on a 30-prospect Big Board, released today, but listed Young in a "One Foot In the Door" section of an article on who's in and who's out that was last updated Tuesday night.
We'll have more tomorrow on the cases for and against Young sticking it out at Florida, but I'll say this much: I think he's got a far better chance of being a successful pro if he stays. And I'd be surprised if he didn't.