Posted: 1:02 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013
By Andy Hutchins
Florida's tallest player is the one whose fate is most up in the air at the moment.
Scottie Wilbekin is back, Billy Donovan announced Sunday. Dorian Finney-Smith has been back, and excellent. But big man Damontre Harris is still very much suspended, and, worse, Donovan's discussion of Harris Sunday makes it sound like his chances of ever seeing the floor at Florida are somewhere between slim and none.
No progress on Florida's Damontre Harris (indefinite suspension). Billy Donovan: "He's dug himself and continues to dig himself a big hole."— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) November 24, 2013
Damontre Harris is struggling with "going to school, being on time, working hard, answering his phone," Billy Donovan says.— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) November 24, 2013
Damontre Harris’ last practice w/#Gators was Nov. 1.— Chris Harry (@GatorZoneChris) November 24, 2013
Harris has not yet played for Florida, and has been made only the wrong kind of headlines since his transfer from South Carolina. He tore his labrum early in the 2012-13 season in practice, was arrested in February for failure to appear, was suspended for a violation of team rules to begin this season, has had his conditioning questioned publicly by Donovan and GatorZone's Chris Harry, and has remained suspended and away from the team in November.
My best guess at this point is that Harris will miss a significant portion of this season, if he ever suits up for Florida at all — and I would not be surprised if he never does actually play for the Gators.
If he doesn't, Harris's absence will leave Patric Young as Florida's only real center in the short term, but it might be a blessing in disguise come later in the year. Harris not being around theoretically frees up minutes for Dorian Finney-Smith to play in the post, where his quickness could be an asset, and minutes for Chris Walker to get his feet wet if and when he enrolls at Florida and joins the Gators.