F: Erik Murphy (Jr)/Will Yeguette (So)/Cody Larson (Fr)
G/F: Bradley Beal (Fr)/Casey Prather (So)
SG: Kenny Boynton (Jr)/Mike Rosario (Jr)
PG: Erving Walker (Sr)/Scottie Wilbekin (So)
Gone: F-Chandler Parsons, F-Alex Tyus, C-Vernon Macklin, PF-Adam Allen
Led by one of the deepest backcourts in the country, the Florida Gators will once again be in the SEC title hunt. For Billy Donovan to get his team back on top of the mountain though, they will have to find a way to replace the production from their veteran frontcourt.
Any team would love to have their starting backcourt return, especially one that boasts the team's top two scorers. That is what Florida has with Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton coming back. The rich get richer though with the addition of McDonald's All-American Bradley Beal and Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario.
All four players can score in bunches, which begs the question whether there will be enough shots to go around. Boynton and Walker are already shot-happy guards as was Rosario during his time with the Scarlet Knights. Beal is just too talented not to get his share of looks as well.
As daunting as the challenge of replacing the frontcourt is, Donovan may realize that an even bigger chore will be finding a way to keep each guard happy. Regardless, the Gators have four guys capable of dropping 30 points on any given night and that's not even including Scottie Wilbekin who was productive as the first guard off the bench last season.
Patric Young is coming off a rather disappointing freshman campaign but will shoulder the load in the frontcourt. He is extremely physical and plays at 100 miles per hour. Florida won't need to him to be a huge scoring threat, but he will have to assert himself on the boards and defensively in the paint.
Erik Murphy (What up, E?) and Cody Larson were suspended this offseason as a result of trying to break into a car but have been reinstated to the program. The duo must fill the void at power forward and likely see some minutes at center as well. Murphy's versatility will be an asset as he is able to stretch defenses with his outside shooting while Larson has impressive athleticism for a 6-foot-9 player. Will Yeguette and freshman Walter Pitchford will try to earn minutes in the frontcourt as well.
Florida will go as far their guard play takes them this year. It is never a negative to have too much talent on your team as long as you can maximize each player's role with only one round ball to go around. That is the obstacle the Gators will have to overcome if they want to make the most of all their talent.
Player to Watch: Bradley Beal, SG
He hasn't even played a college game yet, but Beal is already on my "All-Boy Team." The Gatorade National Player of the Year impressed me at the McDonald's All-American Game with his ability to score from perimeter as well as attacking the basket. The RealDealBeal (as his Twitter handle claims) could very well be a one-and-done as he arrives at Florida as one of the top recruits in the 2011 class and would likely be a top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
For starters, the bears had a top 10 passing defense, ranking higher than the Seahawks. They need more people on the defensive line if anything on defense. Sure their safety could be upgraded, but they can save that for later rounds. The ravens have more needs than at WR. I doubt they address that hole left so early. Next, how in God's name do you not address the Saints' need for a pass rusher or secondary player? Sure it is okay to start in the middle of the field, but they need to start where they are weak the most. Also, The titans are NOT going to pass up on Corey Davis at pick 18. They need a no. 1 WR and he is one of the best in the draft.
@Claymaker I am a bit 50/50 on him where I can see him turning into something, but I can also see him be a bust. Preferably I like my top corners to come in with good technique and not be selected hoping he can learn it in the NFL. As we have all seen the NFL is quick to pull the plug on coaches and GMs so I would rather not spend a top pick on a player who is still very raw. For some reason I have this Justin Gilbert feeling in my gut on him, but who knows he can prove me wrong.