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Scottie Wilbekin reinstated to Florida basketball team after suspension

Florida gets its pitbull point guard back after a six-game suspension.

Al Messerschmidt

Scottie Wilbekin has been reinstated to the Florida basketball team after completing his suspension, Billy Donovan announced on Sunday, and will play in Monday's game against Jacksonville.

Wilbekin missed Florida's exhibition opener and the first five games of its regular season for a violation of team rules. That suspension came on the heels of a suspension from the team for Florida's 2012-13 exhibition opener and the first two games of the year, and both of those are consistent with violations of Florida's drug policy.

Wilbekin's return gives Florida a point guard at a moment the Gators could really use one. Florida defeated Middle Tennessee State on Thursday without freshman wunderkind Kasey Hill, who is out with a high ankle sprain, but the Gators' ball movement suffered without a natural point guard, and Wilbekin, while not nearly the playmaker Hill is, certainly has the chops to run this team.

Wilbekin averaged 9.1 points and 4.9 assists for Florida last season, has shot 36.4 percent from distance in his career, and is renowned as one of college basketball's most relentless defenders. All of that, plus some newfound maturity, makes him an excellent player — and inserting an excellent player in the rotation should make a very good Florida team much better.


Andy Hutchins is Alligator Army's managing editor. Follow Alligator Army on Twitter and Facebook.