Patric Young and Will Yeguete are best friends and frontcourt mates at Florida. They are also, by some margin, the best reasons for Gators to root for this team — despite this team's bounty of great reasons to root.
Here are 10 such reasons ... which have all happened in the last eight days.
Last Tuesday, Young made the hustle play of his life against Tennessee.
Worth noting: It was a rebound of his own miss. This tweet sums it up:
February 12, 2014
One day — less than 24 hours — after Young and Yeguete helped Florida beat Tennessee in Knoxville for the second time in the last eight years, there they were at Florida lacrosse's home opener against Jacksonville, braving driving rain and cold temperatures to cheer on their fellow Gators, something they've been doing at lacrosse for at least three years.
I didn't see them after halftime, but I don't blame anyone for not wanting to be in that weather for more than an hour. And, also, when they retreated to the concourse above the stands for halftime, along with 90 percent of the fans in attendance, Pat was having a chat with a young kid who came over to say hi — and both Pat and Will had been talking to him for most of the last 15 minutes, at least.
Pat, making mention of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award that he's in the running for, and is probably going to win, given his massive lead at the moment.
Thank you all for the support with the Senior CLASS award cast your vote for me or whoever here http://t.co/H9Pq8oT4Qy— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 13, 2014
It should really be "or whomever," but: "Me or whoever." I love that.
Friday night, as Arizona State took down Arizona late, Pat marveled at both teams' struggles on offense. And it was funny.
Arizona needs to run some motion or something with more movement. Really tough to score when one guy dribbles the whole possession.— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 15, 2014
Very true lol RT @Bryan_Holt: @BigPatYoung4 They don't have Billy yelling "Move it!" at them 982374892347238 times.— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 15, 2014
Well the theme of this game for both teams is to hit your freethrows. Easier said than done though lol— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 15, 2014
They average like 2 passes per pos. RT @GatorZoneChris: PG dribble drives under basket, nothing there, pulls it out. That's the offense.— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 15, 2014
Chillout bro!!!! RT @Tm4_Bam: This dude just did a step jump cocked jump shot from half court— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 15, 2014
Now I can sleep hopefully this game won't give me nightmares geez.— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 15, 2014
Both Pat and Will laughed at unexpected moments from Saturday's game against Kentucky.
For Pat, that moment was converting an and-one after a nice jump hook. For Will, it was getting caught catching flies on the ESPN broadcast.
And I guess they played and won that basketball game at Kentucky on Saturday. Whatever.
One day — maybe 12 hours — after the biggest win of their season, there Pat and Will were at McKethan Stadium, cheering on the Gators in the series finale of their three-game set against Maryland.
Lets go gator baseball running a little late but @Will15Yeguete and I will be there.— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) February 16, 2014
@GatorZoneBB on a sunny day!!! #GoGators ⚾ pic.twitter.com/wzjwDZzGDL— Will Yeguete (@Will15Yeguete) February 16, 2014
Will and Pat over here holdin down the fort on the first-base line.— Allison Banko (@allisonbanko) February 16, 2014
Will, of course, took the time to take a picture with a fan.
Hanging with my favorite gator @Will15Yeguete #ItsGeatUF @GatorZoneBB pic.twitter.com/mxEAX4wnjM— Michelle Moore (@MooreMM0301) February 16, 2014
Beating Kentucky last night, taking photos at #Gators baseball today. #WillYegueteFanClub pic.twitter.com/RI2pIcUjp8— Scott Carter (@GatorZoneScott) February 16, 2014
Because he is Will Yeguete, he also retweeted that picture when the fan in it tagged him. (I think it's really only because basketball is in season that Yeguete's timeline is no longer 75 percent pictures of himself with fans and 25 percent soccer.)
Sunday morning, GatorZone aired this segment of Pat and Will hanging with their friend Kaedyn Ballew, whom they've kept in touch with and raised money for since his stint in Shands to treat leukemia.
Warning: You will watch that video and realize you are not half as good a person as Will Yeguete is.
Finally, on Monday, Young and Yeguete dropped by Hume Hall — Florida's honors dorm — to hang out and answer questions from students ... as a favor to a friend.
@AlligatorArmy Yeguete and Pat Young stopped by Hume after practice to meet students and do Q&A... For 3 hours. Those guys are class acts— Chris Anderson (@CAeveryday) February 18, 2014
@footballfan098 @AlligatorArmy they're friends with an RA there, so he asked if they would be willing to stop by and meet residents.— Chris Anderson (@CAeveryday) February 18, 2014
@footballfan098 @AlligatorArmy ...and they were more than excited to be there.— Chris Anderson (@CAeveryday) February 18, 2014
Hume is the sort of place a lot of athletes would treat like Mordor, and it's earned much of its reputation as a lair for geeks over the years. I spent my first two years at Florida living in Hume; there was about as much studying as there was Super Smash Bros. Melee on the all-male floor where I spent my freshman year.
And, from time to time, I see a theory on message boards that holds that of the decline in student attendance at Florida football games is linked to Florida being more and more selective in admissions and bringing in smart students at the expense of missing out on students who would be passionate fans — as if admissions ever did or should care about whether students would turn out on Saturdays, rather than whether they deserve admission. But some of those guys I hung with freshman year are among the most dedicated Gators fans I know, even if my roommate arrived at Florida and didn't know who Steve Spurrier was. (Really.)
And, if passion for Florida sports among honors students is a problem, what better way to start solving it than having the two easiest Gators to like since Tim Tebow drop in for an impromptu three-hour chat?