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Hoops Scoop

Gator basketball news – delivered Brockway style

Billy D wants more from Kurtz

On the suface, Florida walk-on forward Jacob Kurtz put together another workmanlike effort in Thursday’s preseason game against Barry. The 6-foot-6 Kurtz had 6 points and 2 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.  He came up with a loose ball out of a scrum and had a big putback shot in the second half to put Florida up 71-59 with 3:52 remaining. But Florida coach Billy Donovan said he expects more from Kurtz, a heady fifth-year senior who stepped… Read More »

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s preseason win vs. Barry

Some thoughts following UF’s 79-70 preseason win over Division II Barry: – Billy Donovan was blunt in saying following the game the Gators don’t have a back-to-the-basket scorer. Redshirt senior Jon Horford tried hard, but it’s clear that he’s not an offensive force. Horford got the time on the court he lacked at Michigan, logging 32 minutes and finishing with 5 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Expect Horford to continue to get plenty of playing time until… Read More »

Wilbekin shines down under

While Florida is starting the 2014-15 with a new cast, one of UF’s senior standouts from a season ago is off to a good start professionally. Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin was named player of the month for October for the Cairns Taipans of the Australian National Basketball League. The former 2014 SEC player of the year is currently fourth in the league in scoring at 18.2 ppg and fifth in assists at 4.3 apg. “He keeps a really strong… Read More »

Gators enjoying success in NBA

One of the marvels of the Billy Donovan era at Florida has been his ability to not just coach players to college success, but develop them for the next level. Entering the 2014-15 season, 12 former Gators are on NBA rosters. Of the 12, four are among the 44 highest paid players in the NBA. David Lee remains the highest-paid former Gator at $15.01 million (21st highest paid overall), followed by Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parons (29th, $14,7 million), Chicago… Read More »

Gators played two 5-man units during 2000 FF run

Listen to college basketball coaches long enough, and you understand there’s a little P.T. Barnum in all of them. But Kentucky coach John Calipari raised more than a few eyebrows when he said during the preseason he intended to play two five-man units during the 2014-15 season and was doing “something that’s never been done in college basketball before.” I seem to remember a Florida team in 2000 that played two five-man squads and made a run all the way… Read More »

Frazier: FF loss to UConn still stings

More than six months removed from from Florida’s Final Four loss against Connecticut, Florida junior guard Michael Frazier II is still having a hard time accepting it. Frazier was among the most devastated players in the locker room following UF’s 63-53 loss to the Huskies. The loss snapped UF’s 30-game win streak and ended the season at 36-3, two wins shy of a national title. “I still got that sour taste in my mouth from that game,” Frazier said at… Read More »

Recruiting analyst high on Stone’s potential

On the surface, latest 2015 Florida commitment Keith Stone is a borderline top 100 national recruit. But Scout.com national recruiting analyst Rob Harrington is high on Stone’s potential. Harrington doesn’t view Stone as an impact player as a freshman, but things the 6-foot-7 forward can develop into high-level player in Florida’s system. “He’s an excellent four-year prospect,” Harrington said. “He’s not going to be a Kasey Hill type guy who comes in with that kind of reputation or a Chris… Read More »

Billy D’s thoughts on Midnight Madness

Throughout the country, dozens of college basketball programs celebrated the start of practice last Friday with Midnight Madness ceremonies. Kentucky put forth its usual grand spectacle in front of 24,000 fans at Rupp Arena, which included an appearance from Drake. Tubby Smith fell of a motorcycle at Texas Tech. Connecticut held a mixed scrimmage with men’s and women’s players together on the same team. At Florida, there was a quiet closed, double-session practice. The Gators haven’t done Midnight Madness since… Read More »

Time is now for Chris Walker to mature

No one can deny the physical gifts. They were on display in last year’s Sweet 16, when talented but little-used freshman forward Chris Walker used his rangy 6-foot-10 frame to finish with 7 points, 3 rebounds and a blocked shot off the bench against a UCLA team with three NBA first round draft picks.  There was Walker gliding down the court for a dunk in transition and following up his own missed free throw with a rebound and putback. But… Read More »

OB Classic game between UF-Wake Forest to tip at 5

Florida announced last week that its Orange Bowl Classic game with Wake Forest will tip at 5 p.m. ET at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise. The Gators have are 14-2 all-time in Orange Bowl Classic games and have won their last four. UF’s last loss in the Orange Bowl Classic came against Richmond (56-53) on Dec. 19, 2009. Wake Forest is in rebuilding mode under first-year coach Danny Manning. The Demon Deacons roster includes incoming freshman guard Mitchell Wilbekin, the… Read More »