#11 Florida Gators: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

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.

Last Season: 1st, 13-3 in SEC, 29-8 overall
Predicted SEC Finish: 3rd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Patric Young (So)/Walter Pitchford (Fr)
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

2011-2012 Outlook:
Any team would love to have their starting backcourt return, especially a backcourt that boasts the team’s top two scorers.  That is what Florida has with Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton returning.  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 a hundred miles an hour.  The Gators 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 off-season as a result of trying to break into a car but have been reinstated to the program.  That 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 6-9 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.

bradley beal florida

Player to Watch: Bradley Beal
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 ten pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 at Ohio State
12/2 at Syracuse
12/7 vs. Arizona
12/12 vs. Texas A&M
12/22 vs. Florida State
12/29 at Rutgers
12/31 vs. Yale
1/3 vs. UAB

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#12 Xavier Musketeersf
#13 Louisville Cardinals
#14 Arizona Wildcats
#15 Wisconsin Badgers
#16 Alabama Crimson Tide
#17 Gonzaga Bulldogs
#18 Marquette Golden Eagles
#19 Texas A&M Aggies
#20 Michigan Wolverines
#21 New Mexico Lobos
#22 Temple Owls
#23 Cincinnati Bearcats
#24 Kansas Jayhawks
#25 UNLV Rebels
#26 Washington Huskies
#27 UCLA Bruins
#28 Butler Bulldogs
#29 Missouri Tigers
#30 Texas Longhorns
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.


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