Florida Gators senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin will return to the team Monday night against Jacksonville following a five-game suspension for violating team rules.

Wilbekin was suspended June 10 for the second time in an eight-month period.

Coach Billy Donovan said Sunday he gave Wilbekin the option at the time to transfer to another school. Wilbekin, Instead Wilbekin met the criteria set out for him, Donovan said, and has returned a better player and more mature person.

"He’s done everything," Donovan said. "I’m really proud of him. He has really stayed on course."

Wilbekin's return could not come at a better time for the No. 16 Gators.

Freshman point guard suffered a high-ankle sprain last Monday against Southern and is expected to miss another three weeks.

The Gators defeated Middle Tennessee 79-59 on Monday night without a point guard, but finished the first half with a 34-26 lead and just two assists on nine baskets.

"He's going to help us," sophomore shooting guard Michael Frazier II said. "He's our only point guard, and he's a veteran guy so we definitely can use him right now."

Wilbekin averaged 9.1 points and a team-best five assists last season, his first as a starter. Wilbekin also was Florida's best on-the-ball defender and earned a spot on the SEC's All-Defensive team.

Word is, Wilbekin has taken his game to another level. During a closed scrimmage in October with Georgia Tech, Wilbekin reportedly was the best player on the court.

"He had a really great game," Frazier said. "He definitely addes a huge piece to our team."

Email Edgar Thompson at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com. Read the Swamp Things blog at www.orlandosentinel.com/swampthings. Follow our UF coverage on Twitter @osgators.