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Gator basketball news – delivered Brockway style

Gators enter season unranked

No surprise. Coming off a 16-17 season, its worst since 1997-98, Florida enters the 2015-16 unranked in the AP men’s college basketball poll in Mike White’s first season as UF coach. It’s the first time that Florida started the season unranked since 2009-10, after a pair of NIT seasons. In that year, Florida reached the NCAA Tournament as a 10-seed before falling to BYU 99-92 in double-overtime in the opening round. The preseason AP Top 25 includes three SEC teams… Read More »

Billy D available to White

A few weeks ago, new Florida coach Mike White said that Billy Donovan has been accessible for questions as he’s gone through the transition to replace the icon coach. Donovan said he’s more than willing to help White, but doesn’t want to overstep his bounds. “I think for, when you invest 19 years of your life, you want to see the program do well and you want to see the players do well,” Donovan said Friday morning following the Oklahoma… Read More »

Wilbekin to play in Turkey

Former Gator standout point guard Scottie Wilbekin has signed a deal to play with Darussafaka in the Turkish Basketball Super League. Wilbekin, the 2014 SEC player of the year who helped lead UF to its fifth Final Four in school history in 2014, was one of the last cuts by the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. Wilbekin joins Erving Walker (Tüyap Büyükçekmece), Alex Tyus (Anadolu Efes) and Erik Murphy (Besiktas) as the fourth former Gator playing in Turkey.  

Gators cashing in at NBA level

The NBA landscape remains dotted with former Florida basketball players. Even with Nick Calathes opting to leave the Memphis Grizzlies and return overseas, 10 former Gators will begin the season on NBA rosters. And those players will make a combined $79.7 million in 2015-16. Here’s a breakdown of the Gators in the NBA and their salaries (source, basketball reference): David Lee, Boston Celtics, F-C — $15.495 million Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks, G-F, $15.3 million Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, C, $13.4… Read More »

Kennedy high on White’s recruiting ability

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy knows first hand the recruiting ability of Florida coach Mike White. White worked as assistant coach at Ole Miss, his alma mater, under Kennedy from 2004-11. Kennedy said White has a knack for finding under-the-radar players. “For us, we’ve got to be dogged in our pursuits,” Kennedy said. “We’re not gonna just walk in a room and everybody is going to want to sign a national letter for us. “So we have to really work.… Read More »

Robinson, DFS shine in second scrimmage

Sophomore forward Devin Robinson had 14 points and senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith added 12 points and 9 rebounds, leading the Orange over the Blue 47-38 in UF’s second intra-squad scrimmage. Robinson had a balanced offensive day, going 2 for 2 from 3-point range and 3 of 6 on two-point shots. Senior forward Alex Murphy and redshirt freshman guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez had 10 points apiece to lead the Blue team. Center John Egbunu chipped in with 8 points, 8 rebounds and… Read More »

CBSSports.com ranks Gators 55th

CBSSports.com put together an ambitious project, ranking all of the 351 men’s Division I college basketball programs. The website ranked the Gators 55th overall going into the 2015-16 season. Of Florida, CBSSports.com writes: “Mike White takes over what was a rough situation under Billy Donovan last season, but there’s talent here. Dorian Finney-Smith will be an All-SEC player, and Devin Robinson has that potential too. If they get more consistent guard play from Kasey Hill, they could be a tournament… Read More »

Finney-Smith named to Malone watch list

Florida senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith was named to the Karl Malone Award watch list, given to the nation’s top power forward by the Naismith Hall of Fame basketball committee. The 6-foot-9 Finney-Smith led the Gators in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg) last season while shooting a team-best 42.6 percent from 3-point range. New Florida coach Mike White is challenging Finney-Smith to become more of a leader this season as the Gators look to bounce back from a 16-17… Read More »

Gators could land big man recruit

Florida could end up with a big man added to its 2016 class by early next week. Three-star 6-foot-9 power forward Dontay Bassett visited the Florida campus over the weekend and is expected to choose between Florida and Colorado on Tuesday. 2016 PF Dontay Bassett of Oldsmar Christian (FL) will choose between Colorado & Florida on October 13th. #LOCHoops — Lineage of Champions (@MyLineOfChamps) October 11, 2015 Bassett goes to the same high school (Oldsmar Christian outside of Tampa) as… Read More »

Billy D wins NBA preseason debut

Yes, it’s only preseason. But former Florida coach Billy Donovan had an impressive debut coaching for the Oklahoma Thunder on Wednesday night. Donovan led the Thunder to a 122-99 win at the Minnesota Timberwolves in his first NBA preseason game. Like in 19 years coaching at Florida, Donovan’s Thunder team won with balanced scoring and a quick start. Seven Thunder players scored in double figures, led by Serge Ibaka’s 18 points. The Thunder jumped to a quick 42-28 lead in… Read More »