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 Nov 04, 2014 | 11:29 am

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2014-15 COLLEGE HOOPS
PREVIEW: SEC
Kentucky and Florida remain atop of the SEC
standings but the lead has been dwindling.

Six keys to a great Gator 2014-15 basketball season...

Florida basketball has a lot to live up to following a great 2013-14 season, and here
are some key questions for 2014-15.
1. Is Kasey Hill ready to assume the leadership role?
We all know what Scottie Wilbekin meant to the Florida basketball team. Whenever
games were close for the 2014 SEC Champion Florida basketball team, Wilbekin was
the guy who was called on to deliver the big shot. Now he’s gone.
Sophomore Kasey Hill has a little different kind of game. Wilbekin was fast, but Hill’s
game is even faster and more up and down the court. He gets to the rim a lot quicker
than anyone else on the floor. The big question for Hill is whether he has improved
his jump shot. If he can make the outside shot, he will be that much more of a threat
in the half court, as defenders will come out to guard him, and he can then make a

Florida Tickets

move to the basket to score or dish the ball.
2. Will the Gators have a consistent scorer to balance with Michael Frazier
III?
Casey Prather and Wilbekin were the guys last year. Prather came into his own a bit
as a shooter, and Wilbekin also hit a lot of big-time shots from behind the arc.

Barry Buccaneers vs. Exhibitio...

BUY
TICKETS

F lorid a vs. Vand erbilt

BUY
TICKETS

Thu 11/6 • 7:00pm • Stephen C. O'Connell
Center
Sat 11/8 • 6:30pm • Vanderbilt Stadium

Someone has to fill that role this year… or should we say a few guys?

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Guards Chris Chiozza (FR), Dillon Graham (SO), and

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Eli Carter (JR) come to mind when it comes to shooting.

Chiozza is more of a driver along the lines of Hill, but he

1,263 FANS ONLINE

does have a better shot. Graham is coming back from
double hip surgery but has worked hard to get back into

Game Thread: Florida vs. No.
11 Georgia 11/1 3:30 p.m. TV:
CBS

gear, and if he can find his shot, he could be a weapon
from deep. Carter is also battling recovery from injury and
may not be completely healthy this year, but he should

 4 days ago

play and he is a solid three-point shooter.

FOURTEEN of our "future
head coaches" LOST

Forwards Alex Murphy (JR) and Devin Robinson (FR) are mold breakers in that
they are big bodies but can shoot the ball really well when they are on. Like his older

 3 days ago

brother Erik Murphy
Murphy, Alex is tall and difficult for teams to guard outside. The same

Hollywood Bob’s Midday
Matinee; Turned the corner?

goes for Robinson, a 5-star prospect who has a lot of tools that are uncommon in big
men.

 a day ago

3. Can Jon Horford and Chris Walker make up for the loss of Patric Young
Young??

Great Win but Sanity Check
Needed

These two guys will be asked to play in the low post and do the dirty work on the

 2 days ago

defensive end following the departure of the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Young

Frangie in Jax saying
Gator's 1st call will be to B.
Stoops

really never gobbled up stats and rebounds; he just made it difficult for opposing post
players to get underneath the basket, so the ball hardly showed up down there.
Walker and Horford are better offensive players, so maybe they can make up some of

 5 days ago

the lost defensive presence on the offensive end, and both are real shot-blockers;

J OI N T HE CON VER SA T I ON 

when opponents’ shots are taken down low, they will be rejected more often.
Young was athletic, but Walker is a super athletic big man who can jump out of the
gym. Horford is a very nice rebounder with long arms, and although he doesn’t have
the physique of Young, he plays tough down in the post.

Tweets

4. Can the Gators get to the same level of defensive intensity as in past

Patric Young
@BigPatYoung4

years?
The Gators ranked in the top five in the NCAA for the last two years in a ton of

Retweeted by Bob Redman
Expand

together and building cohesion that will allow them to play a more smothering
defense.
They likely will be different in that they should press even more than in the past. This
is a longer and faster group, with a few guys who can defend the basket deep and

Bob Redman
@BobRedman_Scout

Expand
Fightin' Gators
@FloridaOnScout

Murphy are all very long players who can be disruptive across the court and can be

Hill is fast and furious and has elite quickness. Michael Frazier is about as long as it
gets at the shooting guard position. There is a lot of ability in this group to be a big-

14h

MIssed it earlier in week, but #Gators 2016 CB
commit Tre Jackson @CB_EJ3 is doing work on
offense. He had 9 catches 180 yards & 3 TD Friday

allow four others to press. Chris Walker, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jon Horford, and Alex
goal defenders on the break as well.

47m

My guy @scottiew_5 is killin it right now. Player of
the month nbl.com.au/article/id/9us…

defensive categories; the trademark of recent teams at Florida has been the defensive
side of the ball. The issue isn’t ability for these 2014-15 Gators, it is about playing

15h

#Gators Future still looks great for Gator basketball
- The season is upon us, but recruiting is a yearrou... on.scout.com/2Qe3Vh
Retweeted by Bob Redman
Expand

time defensive squad, but it is going to take time to mesh. There are a lot of new
brady ackerman
@bradyack

pieces which must be fit together.
5. Is there enough depth to make it until December, when Alex Murphy is
scheduled to be available?

15h

Harris has engineered 8 touchdown drives in 3 SEC
games which have amounted to about 1 1/2 games
total playing time.
Retweeted by Bob Redman

Murphy transferred in from Duke and actually played at the beginning of last year.

Expand

Because of that he is currently scheduled to miss the first semester, but should be able

Gator Gymnastics
@GatorZoneGym

to play sometime in mid-December. UF is going to appeal that in hopes of a
November return, but he will likely miss some time, no matter the result of the appeal.
With Murphy out and sophomore John Egbunu having to sit out this season as well

17h

Entire Gator Gymnastics SEC meet schedule to air
on SEC Network or ESPN Platform in 2015:
gatorzone.com/story.php?id=2…

as a transfer, the front court isn’t overly rich with bodies. Walker, Horford, Robinson,
and Finney-Smith will have to hold down the fort as a foursome until Murphy can
play. There will be lots of times where three of these guys will be on the floor at once.
6. How long will it take to get cohesion on offense?
Gator coach Billy Donovan runs as many offensive sets as anyone in the country.
With that in mind, the Gators have to get the new guys on the same page. Horford in
particular hasn’t been on campus very long. The freshmen also will have to learn
quickly.
Walker was slow to pick things up last year, so you have to wonder if that is going to
be an issue again this year. Hill, Finney-Smith and Frazier must step up their
leadership game in order to get things cranking on offense.
If there is any solace, it is that Murphy has been on campus for a year and Horford is
an older, experienced player who has seen a lot of basketball in his time. Every bit of
it will be needed.
PLEASE NOTE: This Story Appears in the WINTER 2014 ISSUE OF
FIGHTIN GATORS MAGAZINE

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