Video: Patric Young's best rebound ever, and what it means

Patric Young did more than save Florida with his flying rebound last night: He finished his metamorphosis into the player he was always meant to be.

Patric Young had six points and five rebounds before this incredible flying rebound from Tuesday night, in Florida's 67-58 win over Tennessee. He finished with six points and six rebounds, and fouled out about a minute after getting it.

But that rebound — not Young shaking thunder loose from the heavens on an alley-oop or a follow dunk, not a highlight-reel block, not a smooth hook in the lane — was the most important, most impressive, and best play of Patric Young's basketball career.

It didn't make SportsCenter's Top 10, which probably made Young smirk; he's jokingly needled ESPN about its seeming inability to show Gators highlights over the last two years. But he's used to not making the highlights, and also seems to have almost fully foregone hunting for them, instead focusing his attention on making every play he can to help this team win. Billy Donovan praised him for that much last Thursday, during a radio call-in show.

That wasn't always the case, and Patric might be the first to admit it. Those development goals we chatted about on Twitter in 2011 were about him more than his team; the games in which he got fewer offensive touches in 2012 and 2013 were usually ones in which he gave less effort on defense; the blocks and dunks have often been showy instead of substantially helpful. He's pouted his way through injuries — man, the subliminal messages from Donovan about Young's injuries over the last two years — and hidden from barbs on Twitter, been benched and been challenged.

But, after it all, he's responded and grown, and he is finally as fully realized as he will get at Florida. He is not the world-devouring frontcourt beast everyone, Young included, hoped he would be. He and Florida might be better off for it, in some ways — it just so happens that his role is as a smart, muscular, relentless glue guy, the kind of player who can feel like he deserves to win that Lowe's Senior CLASS Award he was named a finalist for on Wednesday, and that Florida needs that guy more than a ball-stopping 25-and-10 fixture down low. (You can vote daily for Young to win the award here.)

This was Big Pat's first comment on last night's play:

This was how he addressed it on Instagram:

Desperate each game for the win. I wanted that ball like my life depended on it. #hustle

How can you not love that? How can you not love Pat?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Alligator Army

You must be a member of Alligator Army to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Alligator Army. You should read them.

Join Alligator Army

You must be a member of Alligator Army to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Alligator Army. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker