What's buzzing:

No. 1 Florida going for SEC history on Senior Day

AP - Sports

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- They've spent countless hours together over the last four years, creating the kind of bonds that last a lifetime. They've played 141 games together, winning most of them while developing the kind of chemistry that pays off in crunch time of close games. They've celebrated three Southeastern Conference championships in four years together and felt the sting of coming up one victory short of the Final Four the last three years.

Florida seniors Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete and Patric Young are the heart and soul of the top-ranked Gators, a rare group that stayed in school and continued to get better.

They likely will leave Gainesville with the most wins in school history. And while they have their sights set on winning a national title this season, they also have a chance to make history in their home finale Saturday against No. 25 Kentucky (22-8, 12-5).

The Gators (28-2, 17-0) can become the first time in SEC history to go 18-0 in league play.

''We're trying to make this the best year possible with this team we have, with this team that will never be together again ever,'' Young said.

The conference played an 18-game conference schedule from 1967 through 1991, and then expanded the league slate last season with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M. Only two SEC schools have managed a 17-1 mark: Kentucky accomplished the feat twice (1970, 1986), and LSU did it in 1981.

So Florida is on the verge of something special.

If the Gators do it Saturday, it would add to what will be an emotional day for Prather, Wilbekin, Young and Yeguete. The four seniors will be honored before the game.

''It's going to be an emotional thing for them,'' coach Billy Donovan said. ''I'm not downplaying it. These kids have meant an enormous amount for our program. They've been great kids, they've represented the school very, very well. They've been bought in. They've worked hard. They've been coachable. They've done everything as a coach you can ask.

''But at the same time, too, these guys love is playing. Yes, there's a ceremony. They're going to be honored before the game. But once that's over with, they have to get back to be ready to play.''

Here's a brief look at each of the seniors:

---

CASEY PRATHER: The 6-foot-6 forward from Jackson, Tenn., averaged less than 10 minutes a game his first two years, settling for jump shots and failing to finish around the basket. He briefly considered transferring, but decided to stay in Gainesville. He was slowed by a series of injuries last season, missing time because of two concussions and a sprained ankle, but rebounded to have a stellar senior year. Prather leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points a game, and tops the SEC in field-goal percentage (61.8). His athleticism makes him a dynamic scorer on the fast break and in the open court. ''I'm smarter, more aware of what goes into winning, what goes into doing my job,'' he said. ''I just feel like I've matured a lot.''

---

SCOTTIE WILBEKIN: The 6-foot-2 point guard from Gainesville spent two years playing behind Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton and was nearly kicked off the team after his second suspension in less than a year. The preacher's son got another chance, though, and has developed into arguably Donovan's best floor leader in 18 years in Gainesville. Wilbekin is averaging 12.9 points, and his assist-to-turnover ratio is better than 2-to-1. He's the front-runner to be the SEC's Player of the Year. ''I'm trying to make sure I do the right things and put myself in a position to keep doing what I love doing,'' he said.

---

WILL YEGUETE: The 6-foot-8 forward has endured two significant injuries to become one of the country's best post defenders. The Frenchman broke his left foot in 2012 and missed the final nine games. Florida went 4-5 without him. It got worse last year, when Yeguete needed arthroscopic surgery on his right knee during the season. He returned for the postseason, but clearly wasn't the same, and needed another surgery last summer. He's healthy for the first time in more than two years. ''It's been a really long run, but we have a lot more games, so hopefully I stay healthy,'' he said.

---

PATRIC YOUNG: The 6-foot-9 center from nearby Jacksonville has improved every year, going from a clumsy freshman who couldn't stay on the floor because of fouls and stamina to a dominant big man who now has a jump shot to complement his post moves. Young is averaging 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, and has greatly improved his biggest weakness down the stretch: his free-throw shooting. Young also has learned to channel his energy. ''Every single day you have a chance to impact the team with your attitude and effort,'' he said. ''It took me a little while to understand that it wasn't always about me. It's about our team and about winning.''

View Comments (9)
  • Hamilton storms to 11th pole in 12 races

    Hamilton storms to 11th pole in 12 races

    By Alan Baldwin MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton saw off a strong Ferrari challenge at the Italian team's home Grand Prix to seal his seventh pole position in a row and 11th in 12 races on Saturday. The Mercedes … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago
  • British crew member dies in round the world race

    A British crew member of a yacht taking part in the Clipper Round the World race has died after an accident off the coast of Portugal, his team said in on Saturday. Paramedic Andrew Ashman, 49, was reefing a sail on the IchorCoal entry around … More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • Ferrari CEO will not leave post before IPO - Marchionne

    Ferrari CEO will not leave post before IPO - Marchionne

    Ferrari Chief Executive Amedeo Felisa will not leave his post before the luxury sportscar maker's initial public offering (IPO) planned for later this year, the boss of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said on Saturday. Felisa, who is … More »

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago
  • Hamilton takes 7th straight pole but Ferrari is close behind

    Hamilton takes 7th straight pole but Ferrari is close behind

    Lewis Hamilton extended his recent stranglehold on pole position in Formula One, while Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel gave Ferrari fans something to cheer about at their home Italian Grand Prix by qualifying second and third Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 31 minutes ago
  • Sailing-British crew member dies in round the world race

    A British crew member of a yacht taking part in the Clipper Round the World race has died after an accident off the coast of Portugal, his team said in on Saturday. Paramedic Andrew Ashman, 49, was reefing a sail on the IchorCoal entry around … More »

    Reuters - 42 minutes ago