Casey Prather out with bruised knee

Updated: January 14, 2014, 11:35 AM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 7 Florida will be without leading scorer Casey Prather against Georgia on Tuesday night.

Coach Billy Donovan ruled Prather out Monday, saying the senior forward is still dealing with pain and swelling in his bruised right knee.

"He still has issues," Donovan said. "He's getting better. He's progressing. When he'll be available to play, I don't know."

[+] EnlargeCasey Prather
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesCasey Prather, who leads the SEC in shooting at 62.4 percent, will miss a second game with a bruised knee.

Prather, who is averaging 17 points a game this season and leads the Southeastern Conference in shooting at 62.4 percent, sat out Saturday's 84-82 overtime victory at Arkansas. Dorian Finney-Smith started in his place and finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

Finney-Smith likely will replace Prather in the starting lineup again.

"It just means that other people need to step up," guard Scottie Wilbekin said. "I know you guys have heard coach (Donovan) say all he needs is five guys to go out there, and we have the same mindset as a team. I wish he was going to be out there playing with us, but if he's not, then we've just got to go out with what we've got. And I'm confident that we can win without him."

The Gators (13-2, 2-0 SEC) have won 24 in a row at home, tying the school record set between March 2006 and November 2007. They have won 11 straight at home against the Bulldogs (8-6, 2-0).

Florida also has won seven straight and 12 of 13, the lone loss a buzzer-beater at then-No. 12 UConn in early December.

The 6-foot-6 Prather has been a big reason for the team's success. After averaging just 6.2 points a game last season, Prather has found a role as a slashing player who gets easy baskets in transition and gets to the free throw line on a regular basis.

He also is averaging 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in nearly 30 minutes a game. And he's one of the team's better defenders.

"For any player, it would be frustrating, but especially for him," guard DeVon Walker said. "He's had like an amazing season. He understands that it's part of the process; you're going to get hurt sometimes. But he'll be back soon enough, so it's good."

One player who might not play anytime soon is highly touted forward Chris Walker.

Walker, a 6-foot-10 freshman from Bonifay, is enrolled in school and practicing with the team but still awaiting NCAA clearance. The NCAA is investigating whether Walker violated college amateurism rules during the recruiting process.


Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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