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Question for Gators forward Alex Tyus: What are you thinking?

GAINESVILLE -- I wrote in a blog post last month that Alex Tyus needs to focus on becoming a leader this offseason. For now, Tyus apparently has different plans.

Florida's junior forward told the Gainesville Sun on Wednesday that he plans on submitting his name for the NBA Draft. He'll do this without hiring an agent, apparently. I've got some news for you, Alex. You're not getting drafted. Not this year and probably not any year. Stay in school, Alex. Get your degree, Alex. Work on becoming a leader, Alex. You might learn something about yourself. Tough words, those.

Tyus has until May 8 to remain eligible for the draft or return to school. What will Tyus be doing between now and then? Hopefully he isn't completely oblivious to his non-existent chances of getting drafted and stays in school. Not going to class right now would be a bad idea.

You might recall that Tyus wanted to transfer last offseason but then decided to return to Florida. This guy apparently wants out of Gainesville. Should UF coach Billy Donovan just let him go? Tyus would be a returning starter next season but his current attitude is an example of a problem that has plagued Florida basketball since 2007. Some players between 2008 and this season -- none currently on the roster -- seemed to care more about themselves than the team.

If Tyus is gone for good (Don't do it, Alex!) then freshman forward Erik Murphy could be an option to replace Tyus in the starting line-up. Murphy finished the season well and showed improved throughout. Another option is Jacksonville prep star Patric Young, who recently had nine rebounds in the McDonald's All-American game. Young is apparently a tough defender and that quality could earn him significant minutes as a freshman.

If Ray Shipman and Tyus do not return to the team, then Donovan should have five scholarships at his disposal when the late signing period begins in mid April. UF's current scholarship players: Murphy, Kenny Boynton Jr., Chandler Parsons, Vernon Macklin, Adam Allen, Erving Walker, Kenny Kadji and Nimrod Tishman

Recruits Young and small forward Casey Prather of Jackson, Tenn., are already on board. That leaves three scholarships. Adding a point guard (or two) seems like a priority and another big man wouldn't hurt. Donovan shouldn't give up on signing Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest guard Brandon Knight until the bitter end.

As it stands right now, the Gators return four starters for next season. Senior forward Chandler Parsons, redshirt senior Vernon Macklin and freshman Kenny Boynton Jr. have the potential to be All-SEC caliber players. Sophomore guard Erving Walker will have a year's worth of starting experience next season and has potential to improve. Add the steady play of Murphy to that group and the Gators should be able to once again compete for the SEC regular-season championship.

It certainly helps Florida that rival Kentucky just lost five players to the NBA Draft. Guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe and forwards DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton declared for the NBA Draft on Wednesday.

-jo-

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Sounds like Matt Walsh put in a phone call to Tyus

Tyus is living in fantasy land. I liked your idea previously of him getting a public haircut and committing to the team. Shipman also apparently has unrealistic expectations after being hurt and working his way back into the line-up. Want more playing time? Earn it.

Some of these kids thought that all they had to do was go to Florida and Championships would just rain down from the sky, but it takes commitment, hard work and a team first attitude. Donovan has built for next year and it should be a good run to watch.

I think with all the turnover at UK Brandon Knight will be heading there...your thoughts Jo?

I've heard plenty of theories, potential news tips and opinions over the last few weeks. The high school says he's a lock for UK. The UK assistant says Knight is already in the bag. Others say Knight wants to play with Kenny at UF but Knight's father says no. Knight did confirm before the McDonald's game that UF has scaled back the recruitment. He didn't say, however, that UF was out of it and he made a point to say that he still had a scholarship offer from UF. This leads me to believe that he hasn't completely ruled out UF. Chip-and-a-chair outlook on this one.

-jo-

Alex isn't going anywhere guys... (speculation.. i do not have any inside info). He's just doing his due diligence by getting feedback from the advisory board and some teams. He'll be back next season.. and I would be willing to bet a Burrito Brothers Primo Dinner on it. Any takers?

they ship to you!

Goodman,

I usually like your work, but on this one you are wayyyyy off.

No need to bash the kid for inquiring about his draft status. I am with you that Alex needs to stay in school for his senior year and get his degree, however, saying Alex Tyus will never get drafted is WAYYYYYYY OFFFFFFF.

Alex is close to NBA ready right now and with a big senior year,(and a nice tourney run by the gators), Tyus could EASILY work his way into a late 1st round NBA prospect.

Tyus is one of the most athletic players ever to play for Billy and he has clearly improved in all the areas that scouts are looking for in a versatile 3/4 big at the next level.

NOT only will Alex be drafted after his senior year, he will represent the Gator Nation proudly both as a person and as a player.

Tyus will significantly make an NBA team better, and will impact the league like the likes of other gators including:

Speights, Bonner, Miller, Brewer, Horford, Noah, Lee, Williams, Richard, and Haslem.

Tom,

Here's to hoping, but it takes plenty more than athleticism to make it in professional sports -- commitment being the most important thing. If Alex is thinking about being a pro, then he should get used to the criticism. The kid gloves come off when athletes start making money.

-jo-

Jo - shouldn't Alex be more focused on that ridiculous attempt to hide his rapidly balding head with those ugly dreads? I mean, come on, wouldn't it increase his draft stock if he went with a #1, or better yet, a #0 razor setting to that do he's sporting? It's hard to look at game in and game out.

Tom, pass around whatever you’re smoke'n! Tyus is not even a consistent SEC player. He can't handle the ball well enough to be a "3" in the NBA not to mention he can't shoot well enough to be a "3". As for being a "4" in the NBA...a "4"?...that is a Power Forward if you did not know. Tyus a "4" in the NBA?...LMAO... Its a total JOKE...get out and make room for Young and Murphy!

Jay, that's a win win bet.

Burrito Brothers...oh yeah....

Hey, I'm all for rocking some long hair, but those dreds got to go!

-jo-

While Tyus is atheletic i don't think he'll be a good NBA basketball player. Watching a few of the gator games this year he's disappeared at times didn't really see the leadership or intensity that i would expect from him. Parsons on the other hand played the whole court, played with energy, played with heart. I can't wait to see him next season (parsons).

NO CHANCE at getting Knight

"Donovan shouldn't give up on signing ... guard Brandon Knight until the bitter end."

He'll spare himself some gray hairs if he does. Chances are that Knight will be announcing either with Kansas or Uconn.

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