GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- If the Gators were trying to make a statement to the rest of the SEC, and the country at that, they did so loud and clear on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Patric Young had a couple monster dunks in Florida's blowout win over Missouri on Saturday.
Point guard Scottie Wilbekin dribbled into the right side of the lane in the second half and center Patric Young drifted to the left. Wilbekin lofted up an alley-oop and Young slammed it home viciously to put an emphatic stamp on No. 10 Florida's 83-52 win over No. 17 Missouri.
"I actually saw it a couple plays before but I missed it," Wilbekin said. "I knew it was going to be there, so I just tried to throw it up there where he could get it. He did a good job coming down with it."
Later in the game, Young received a pass 12 feet right of the rim. He gave a head fake to Missouri's Ryan Rosburg and Rosburg bit, falling to his knees as Young dribbled around him and slammed it home with a sick grin on his face.
"I've never done that before," Young said. "He fell and I kind of looked at him and I was like, 'Yeah, I'll dunk that."
Missouri never stood a chance against the Gators in front of the first packed house of the season in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida jumped out on an 11-0 run to open the game as the 12,597 fans reached ear-splitting decibel levels.
The Gators completely neutralized Tigers point guard Phil Pressey with a suffocating defensive effort, forcing him into 10 turnovers in the game. While he dished out six assists, he finished shooting just 1-7 from the floor and was a complete non-factor.
"He's a great player who's got a lot of accolades and everything," Wilbekin said. "Our who team was focused on stopping him because he was their primary facilitator on offense."
Equally as impressive was Florida's offense.
The Gators finished the game with 21 assists, five more shots than the Tigers made in the game (16).
Wilbekin finished with a career-high-tying 10 assists and is averaging 4.9 assists per game so far this season, despite not starting in five of the 14 games he has played in. Last year's starting point guard Erving Walker averaged 4.6 per game.
It was fitting that the point guard had his first career double-double (with 13 points) in Billy Donovan's 400th career win at Florida.
"It's always special when you have friends or family, players and crowd there, that kind of stuff," Donovan said. "But I've said before, all those individual things that relate to coaching, it's much, much more of a reflection on the players I've had the chance to coach. That's what it's really about."
Young made sure Donovan didn't get to enjoy the moment quietly, either. When the Gators got back in the locker room, he threw an ice buck on the 17th-year Florida coach's head.
"They said I needed to see something," Donovan laughed. "I'm glad it didn't end up on the carpet. Basketball coaches don't have that happen often, but I'll tell you what, it was really, really cold."
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