Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Add "Contender" To the Florida Gators Resume

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell

Last era is marked with the back-to-back National Championship winner, Florida Gators. 

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself. And the Gators were moving forward with Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer. 

Being a National Champion was also a feather in the cap of both the Gator and their fans.

However, once Horford, Noah and Brewer left to play in the NBA, the Gators relied on their top ranked 2007 recruiting class to help them continue success. 

They brought in Nick Calathes, Chandler Parsons, Adam Allen, Jai Lucas, and Alex Tyus. 

All five of these players were considered to be one of the best in the recruiting class. Especially Calathes and Parsons, they created a lot of thrill coming out of high school. 

Many suspected to see all these players to continue the Gators dominance.

On the other hand, things went in a different way! In their first season together they were a 21-win team when the regular season ended. 

They weren't invited to the NCAA tournament, but did make a run to the NIT semi-finals before losing to the Massachusetts Minutemen. 

That was not the ultimate season but the Gators did see the potential in their talented but young team. 

The next season, nothing improved, the Gators were granted a NIT berth. After another NIT loss and Calathes left for the NBA draft. 

That left a hole in the backcourt that Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker would curb.

Just last year, the Gators were finally granted a NCAA berth, led by freshmen Boynton. 

Parsons and Tyus both stepped up significantly and Florida has some clarity. 

The Gators lost Dan Werner and Ray Shipman from last year's first-round team. 

They returned everyone else and brought in a great recruiting class. Patric Young, the exciting McDonalds All-American and Casey Prather are going to be in blue and orange next season.

Young is an electrifying shot-blocker in the post. He stands at 6-foot-9 but still has the ability to alter and block a lot of shots. Also, he will be very good in the pick-and-roll. 

His ability to finish around the rim will allow him to jump and catch alley-oops while rolling to the basket. 

Prather is 6-foot-6 wingman. He is a great slasher to the rim displaying soft hands and the ability to find teammates. 

Cody Larson, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yequete will also be huge contributors. Not to mention, the transfer of Mike Rosario will pay off down the road.

The Gators 2010 recruiting class, mixed with last season's success has solidified them as contenders. I expect them to make a deep run in the tournament this season. 

Though Walker and Boynton will sparkle on their decision-making, the Gators have the chance to make a great run in the tournament next year.

As said correctly, victory is sweetest when you've known defeat. I wish them all the good luck for future!


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