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Florida Gators finished; Nick Calathes undecided on his future with the team

The Gators lost to Penn State on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the NIT. What does the future hold for this struggling program?

GAINESVILLE -- OK, before we give this basketball season a long-deserving dirt nap, let me point out that for the last two seasons I have correctly predicted two NIT seasons for the Gators. 

Why am I bringing this up now? Well, because I think the worst is finally behind the Gators. Early prediction for next season: UF will advance to the Sweet 16 if Nick Calathes returns for his junior season.

Florida lost to Penn State 71-62 on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the NIT. (CLICK ME! for the game story.) Afterwards, Calathes once again gave no indication whether or not he might return for his junior year.

The 6-5 sophomore guard did, however, say he wanted to go out a winner. Two disappointing seasons and a pair of deep runs in the NIT might be enough motivation for Calathes to return to Gainesville. He said on Tuesday that he would take his time this offseason and make a wise decision regarding his future. Florida coach Billy Donovan will probably want Calathes to make a decision soon, though. Donovan is still recruiting point guards for the 2009 signing class.

There was plenty of talk after Tuesday's game about next season's addition of Vernon Macklin, the Georgetown transfer. The 6-9 power forward is expected to start next season and add significant size and power to UF's small frontcourt. Florida could have used Macklin on Tuesday. Jamelle Cornley, Penn State's 6-5, 240-pound forward, dominated the Gators inside with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Florida forwards Dan Werner and Alex Tyus were no match Cornley, who was playing with a injured arm but still had his way with the Gators. Werner played despite an illness, according to Calathes.

While reporters wanted Werner to crown Macklin the Gators' savior, Werner was quick to point out that one player is not going to solve the Gators' problems. What exactly are those problems?

"I'm just as confused an anybody," Werner said.

While one new starter might not be enough to get UF over the hump, two new starters could do the trick. Much will be expected of incoming freshman Kenny Boynton Jr., a McDonald's All-American from Plantation American Heritage.

Next season's projected starting five: C Vernon Macklin (6-9), PF Alex Tyus (6-8), SF Dan Werner (6-8), SG Kenny Boynton, Jr. (6-2), PG Nick Calathes (6-6). In a perfect world, 6-10 freshman center Kenny Kadji will improve enough over the offseason to break into the starting line-up. We'll see.

-jo-

Comments

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Jo:
If Werner starts next year then the Gators will have problems! Parsons and Werner should not be more than bench players...

Jonathan, Second that, but would also include Tyus in that Werner comment (bench/roll guys).... hope Macklin can make the difference, but something tells me its NIT baby all over again. We will play the Sisters of the Poor, forcing us to essentially win the SEC to get in...NCAA made their position LOUD and CLEAR that a weak pre-season schedule will doom you.

if Calathas returns its back to the NCAA's .

Dan Werner should be the 8th man. He is a pathetic excuse for a college basketball player. And I hate to tell all of you this, but Calathes is VASTLY overrated. I'm not saying he's not good - he's just not THAT good.

1 - Calathes
2 - Boynton
3 - Parsons (hustle)
4 - Tyus
5 - Macklin

6 - Walker
7 - Kadji
8 - Werner

Adam S...Parsons is far more worthless than Werner...although I am not a big Werner fan either...what does Parsons offer? he is tall yet can't rebound or score inside (in fact he gets blocked a LOT), he can't defend, he rarely gets hot from the outside...what does he do well?!

What the heck, it will be fun as always...but that "line-up" is not going to strike fear in the hearts of our opponents. We made that one-armed PF look like a reincarnated Barkley

Adam,

I don't think Parsons will ever start another game at Florida.

-jo-

To me, he has hustle, and I appreciate that in a player. He also doesn't make as many mental mistakes. Trust me, if it was up to me, Parsons and Werner wouldn't even be on the team. Only reason I put him in the starting 5 above is because either him or Warner are the 3s. Can't believe Werner was Mr. Basketball - New Jersey.

Werner is a deer in headlights - he's so lost, I'm not sure he's run a single play this year as it was drawn up. Billy should use his scholarship on someone else - even the blind singer on American Idol would have a better chance of playing defense.

You guys hate Werner but I bet he starts next year.

-jo-

ihate Parsons more...he is just not good

he better not start next year, you have to give to the guy for his hustle, but he better not start

The only reason Werner starts is because Donovan is so embarrassed that he wasted 4 years on him. Seriously, our 2 national championships did NOTHING to bolster our recruiting or roster. Calathes, Parsons, Werner would have still have come to Florida. I'm watching the NCCA tourney and seeing teams like Missouri, Memphis, UCONN with players who actually look like they should be playing basketball (i.e., 6'10", 235lbs). Most of our players should be stand-ins or extras at the Peach Pit while filming Beverly Hills 90210

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