Posted: 10:45 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2013
By Jason Lieser
The millions of fears swirling around Florida C Patric Young’s brain subsided when he swished his first two free throws during Florida’s 78-64 win over Minnesota in the NCAA tournament tonight. Young and the third-seeded Gators advanced to the Sweet 16 in Arlington, Texas, where they will face No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast on Friday (9:57 p.m., TBS).
Young hit his first two free throws and finished 5 of 6. He scored five points and had seven rebounds.
That 5 for 6 might not seem amazing, but it was a breakthrough for Young. He was 10 of 27 over his previous four games.
“I felt pretty good,” he said. “A lot of people have been trying to fix my shot. My shot’s fine. The ball just doesn’t go in. It’s just a matter of my confidence going up. It felt really good knocking down clutch free throws.”
He has been battling doubt lately. He said the thoughts swimming around in his brain at the foul line have been along the lines of, “don’t miss, don’t airball, don’t shoot it too hard, don’t go short. That was a big problem.”
His mind quieted for one night, but he refused to assume his free-throw trouble is history.
“It’s gonna be a process I deal with the rest of my career,” he said. “No one’s ever been 100 percent.”
Young has hit 50.4 percent this season. He was at 70.3 percent as a freshman and 59.3 percent last year.