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Good and bad: Five early observations of the Florida Gators men's basketball team

GAINESVILLE -- Checked out the Gators' men's basketball team on Monday night at the O'Connell Center. I was pretty much the only beat writer who showed up, so you're not going to read this ultra-important analysis anywhere else.

Seriously, there's not much to take away from a game against Saint Leo, a Division II team from the Dade City area, but it was a good way to familiarize myself with the new players, build some relationships with new guys on the team and, of course, watch the first men's basketball game in two years without Nick Calathes in the line up.

Here are five early observations of the basketball team

1. Kenny Boynton Jr. can create his own shot. That's something Nick Calathes had a hard time doing against good defenders. Now, granted, the perimeter defense of mighty St. Leo isn't exactly a proper test of Boynton's ability but it doesn't take a basketball genius to realize that Boynton is pretty good. He scored a game-high 22 points on Monday, including 5 of 9 from three-point range.

2. The best line up seems to be this one: Boynton, Erving Walker, Ray Shipman, Alex Tyus and Vernon Macklin. It's the fastest line up for a team that will try and push the ball this season.

3. The Gators have a good backcourt with Boynton and Walker but I'm not ready to write that its better than last season's backcourt of Walker and Calathes. I don't care what any says about Calathes, he was a good player and losing him should not be discounted.

4. Florida has serious concerns in the frontcourt. Vernon Macklin is no world-beater. He's going to have to scratch and claw for every rebound this season for Florida to have a chance in SEC play. Kenny Kadji needs to hit the weight room. This guy has a body that NBA players would kill for but Kadji does not appear to be in great shape. Is this guy wasting his ability? Why does he still appear to be carrying baby fat? Get in shape, Kenny!

5. Ray Shipman needs to be more confident with his shot. Shipman appeared to be a little nervous on Monday. If he truly wants to be the "X-factor" on this team, then he's got to play with a little more swag. Come on, Ray, you're from Miami! Shipman appears to be in great shape after a long offseason of hard work. He has more bounce in his legs and is quicker getting down the court, which will help him stay with Boynton and Walker on fast breaks.

-jo-

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Thanks for the Report Joseph!!!!

I am a UF student who attends almost all the basketball games, however, I had a Test tonight and was unable to attend...

This report was exactly what I was looking for!

Go Gators! and keep up the good work!

Jo,

Where is the expose on Nukese Richardson possibly leaving UT? Inquiring minds want to know.

If Nuke is leaving UT, then he's not going to UF unless he wants to go the JUCO route for a year.

-jo-

As bad as UF needs WR help, I don't think they would even accept his transfer. Unless it was purely to get insight into Kiffin.

Good wrap-up of the basketball game, jo. Just not in b-ball mode yet.

Do you think the WR commit Dunkley is a Gator lock? I've heard that he has been at all the UM games with other recruits from his school.

What's your take Jo?

Go 'canes!

http://rivals100.rivals.com/wire.asp?WireTeam=903

Sarasota,

I don't think anyone is a lock when it comes to recruiting until Meyer receives a fax on National Signing Day. I will say this about Dunkley, though. He's UF's to lose. With so many young receivers at UM already, I don't see Dunkley picking UM over UF. Most likely a UF guy.

-jo-

Sarasota,

I don't think anyone is a lock when it comes to recruiting until Meyer receives a fax on National Signing Day. I will say this about Dunkley, though. He's UF's to lose. With so many young receivers at UM already, I don't see Dunkley picking UM over UF. Most likely a UF guy.

-jo-

Posted by: Goody | November 03, 2009 at 02:48 PM

I agree, he's probably just hanging out with his teammates on UM's nickle! A guy lik that would not want to redshirt if he could play right away.

Go 'canes!

Jo is right. No one is a lock.

Unfortunately for you, though, UM is not the team he is looking at other than UF. That would be Tennessee (along with Georgia and Alabama).

http://www.onlygators.com/11/02/2009/status-updates-for-ufs-top-recruiting-prospects/

Kadji did not get the "be in shape " memo and is now the 10th man and has been replaced by freshman Erik Murphy as the first big off the bench.
For the first time since the 04's left , we will have a team with the athleticism to play tough perimeter defense.
GO GATORS

Yeah I already knew that Adam, but he has been popping up as a recruiting guest of the canes for the last two home games. I'm sure the kid's on their team can go to a UM game whenever they want. The entire upper deck was full of recruits and their parents when I went to the Oklahoma game.

Jo:

Excellent summation of the game. Like Adam said, it IS difficult to switch the gears at this point. like going to see NHL games at this time of the year, always awkward.

Backup point guard is whom?
Did the "Kosher Cager" Tishman see any action?

Fair enough, Sarasota.

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