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Monday May 19, 2014 Patric Young opens eyes at NBA combine

Updated: 8:11am, May 20

Pat at combineGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s going to seem weird around here next basketball season without Patric Young.

Hell, it already does.

Young, the consummate student-athlete and one of the most accomplished big men in the history of the Florida basketball program, is knee-deep in the evaluation process heading toward next month’s NBA Draft. So far, so good, also.

Projected as a likely second-round pick, Young went to Chicago last week and measured in at 6-foot-10 -- one inch more than his UF height -- to go with a 7-foot and 3/4-inch wingspan. And to exactly no one’s surprise, Young dropped down on the bench press and cranked out a combine-best 25 reps of 185 pounds and popped a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump that was second only to Arizona’s Aaron Gordon.

Young then went out and played well against the combine competition. His face-up game wasn't great (not his strength), but he made good on those baby jump hooks that helped the Gators win 30 in a row last season, capture both the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles with a perfect (and unprecedented 21-0 mark), and advance to the Final Four. Young finished his career as just the 11th player in UF history to score at least 1,300 points and grab at least 800 rebounds (1,307 and 849, respectively).

His draft stock is on the uptick, which makes sense -- and shouldn't be a big surprise. Once the NBA draft starts venturing into the late-first round (and actually well before that in most years), it's all about projection and fit, especially with so many international players. A team that is looking for a reliable young player to develop for its frontcourt -- someone who who can come off the bench, play defense and be absolutely no problem in the locker room or away from the court -- may take a good, hard look at the former Gator.

In the below video, Young sat down during the combine with Seth Davis and my friends at CampusInsiders.com. He was asked about coming to terms with the disappointment of falling to Connecticut in the Final Four.

Leave it to @BigPatYoung4 to give such a true orange-and-blue answer.

“I hate to say it,” Young began, “I was just really glad Kentucky didn’t win it all.”

 

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