Best Gator players

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Thought this would be a fun list to chew on during the summer. Who would you consider to be the greatest Florida basketball player of all time? I composed my own list, based on the criteria of individual ability and what the player did to impact winning. Not surprisingly, many players from the past decade are on the list.

1. Al Horford

2. Mike Miller

3. Neal Walk

4. Vernon Maxwell

5. Jason Williams

6. Joakim Noah

7. Corey Brewer

8. Udonis Haslem

9. Matt Bonner

10.  Ronnie Williams

Honorable mention: David Lee, Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Anthony Roberson, Nick Calathes, Andrew Moten, Andrew DeClercq, Dan Cross, Tony Miller, Andy Owens, Matt Walsh, Chris Richard, Eugene McDowell, Gene Shy, Clifford Lett, Chip Williams, Stacey Poole.

Disagree? Share your thoughts.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Shame on you for not having Double D (Dwayne Davis) in the top 10. If it wasn’t for him, the team would have lost half the games they did win. Unfortunate D.S. and C.L. didn’t live up to the promise of one of the best front courts in the nation.

    Also forgot Ronnie Brown and DaMetrius Hill. I love the 2 Time National Championship team, but the 94 final four team will always be extra special to me.

  2. Dwayne Schintzius is a must. Without his 86 inches we don’t go to the Sweet Sixteen his freshman year and don’t forget we were ahead of that talented Syracuse team with about five minutes left.

  3. Whoaaaa Kevin…Noah is way too low. How are you going to put Jason Williams ahead of him? That’s outright criminal…the guy barely played for us. Half of your criteria was what he did to “impact” winning…if that’s the case Noah should be #1. Nobody galvanized the team and crashed the NCAA scene like he did. Especialy in the first title run where he was MOP and played out of his mind in the tournament. Statistically he and Horford are almost identical, but because of the intangibles I just discussed I would have to give Noah the edge.

  4. His “unfortunate” (self inflicted) personal circumstances aside, nobody who laced them up for the Gators was better than Vernon Maxwell. An incredible scorer as a freshman, he made himself into a formidible, elite defender by his junior and senior years. He + Drew Moten were a 2 man, full court press. Other than the true “big men” on this list, Mad Max would be able to shut down any of these others. And he’d get his against everybody else.

  5. Jason Williams ahead of Noah, Brewer, and Haslem? Huh? David Lee and Dan Cross not in the top 10? Huh? Craig Brown and Kenyan Weaks not even Honorable Mention? Huh? The criteria obviously had nothing to do with impact on winning. It was more like individual ability and NBA career. Jason Williams is so far from the “Greatest Florida Basketball Player of All-Time” that even if the medicine he takes for his glaucoma works he wouldn’t be able to see it.

  6. what about Teddy Dupay and Brett Nelson??? Both great players and helped lead our team to its first National Title Game. Both players did not end their careers how they would have wanted, but they both started with a bang!

  7. Garcia in the first SEC championship season, moreso than Schintzius. Dwayne Davis has to fit in somewhere. Maxwell is a thug– he could score, but the team wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without Moten.

  8. These guys may not be “the greatest ever”, but if you want an impact on winning, the Gator Record Book points to: Eddie Shannon (assists, steals), Joe Lawrence (3pt %, team leader), Justin Hamilton (shut-down defense), Livingston Chatman (minutes, free throws, use of the booty), Matt Bonner, Dametri Hill, Joe Hobbs/Bob Emrick(from the 50’s). And I still like Renaldo Garcia at LSU to clinch the regualr season. Most Honorable Mention– Coach Norm Sloan, who gave so much to this program at a time when it got no respect.

  9. How about Demetri Hill ??!! The center on the first Final Four/Find A Way team? Great nickname, “Da Meat Hook”. 10+ years as a European professional. This has got to rank at least honorable mention.

  10. i have a hard time breaking up the back to back team as individuals. on the “man of the year” SI a couple years ago, SI also had them as one person (well, the 04’s at least). i’ll take the starting 5 on that team as #1.

    we’ve had many other good quality players but no one compares the the 04’s plus Hump.

  11. Neal Walk hands down. Seems these blogs generally come from the younger set and have very little history to call upon when talking about ”UF’s Greatest” Neal’s generation of players brought winning basketball to Florida. In the period of no dunks, no three point scoring he still leads most UF records.

    Brooks Henderson should also be in the top ten for his overall basketball ability and tough defensive skills, long forgotten in todays game.

  12. Dwayne Schintzius has to be here. He is statistically one of the all time greats and he was the centerpiece of the mid – late eighties teams that really put the Gators on the National scene. The Gators were a struggling team during the ‘88 / 89 season until Clifford Lett was shifted from shooting guard to the starting point guard position, after which the team caught fire and went on to win it’s first regular season SEC title ever, and us such I’d move him higher up the list. Who can forget a “3d”……a Dwayne Davis Dunk, which were often in traffic and with awesome power, stirring the O’dome crowd into a frenzy. I agree with a previous poster that we wouldn’t have won nearly as many games without him and he must be on this list. Livingston Chatman, before his knee injuries, was electrifying and a true talent. His national nickname was “Super Freshman”. And though there are others, (Demetri Hill, the Lawrence brothers….especially Pat and his big time 3’s in the ’87 tourny) , the most glaring omission has to be Craig Brown. He truly was the glue that held the 1994 final Four team together, as evidenced by the fact that the next year Florida returned basically the same team, except for the graduated Brown, and weren’t the same. His performance in the Elite 8 game against Boston College was remarkable, in which he dominated future NBA player Howard Eisley. This is one of the greatest performances in Gator history (and of that tournament). I just wish I had that game on tape.

  13. I remember Kurt Feazel. Coach Bartlett had the Athletic Dept send me a team picture for all three years that Neal played. I was a 13 year-old that lived in Lexington and would listen to the UF games on and old, yet powerful, radio.

    And I agree, Neal Walk, hands-down.