Nembhard decides to return to Gators for sophomore season

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Florida guard Andrew Nembhard (2). [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

Florida starting point guard Andrew Nembhard has decided to put his NBA dream on hold, at least for a year.

Nembhard has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft and will be returning for his sophomore season with the Gators, he announced Wednesday.

“Super excited to come back and play with my brothers and for Gator Nation!#year2,” he posted on Twitter.

Nembhard declared for the draft April 12, saying it was always his dream to play in the NBA. But he did not hire an agent, giving him the option to possibly remain at UF.

After going through the pre-draft process and workouts, he’s decided to stay in school for at least one more year.

The 6-foot-5 Nembhard started all 36 games as a true freshman last season, the first freshman to do so since Bradley Beal in 2011-12. Running the UF offense, he dealt out 196 assists, the fourth-highest total for a season in school history.

His 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining gave the Gators a victory over LSU in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals, helping UF secure a third straight NCAA Tournament bid.

For the season, Nembhard averaged 8.0 points, 5.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds a game and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

The Gators are now solidly set at point guard for the 2019-20 season. In anticipation of Nembhard possibly leaving, UF signed two highly regarded point guards — five-star prospect Tre Mann and Ques Glover, one of the top players in Tennessee — who will now back up Nembhard.

The Gators landed McDonald’s All-Americans Scottie Lewis (No. 9 prospect by Recruiting Services Consensus Index) and Mann (No. 22) to go along with Omar Payne (No. 46) during recruiting.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Right decision for him. Good for the Gators. He was really improving at the end of the year and,as a facilitator and a shooter, he should be a great fit with the recruits coming in. Gotta work on his “quicks”.

  2. Nembhard wasn’t as good as Beal at the end of his first season, so it will serve him well to return and work on improving to that level if, like Anglo said, he doesn’t want to start his pro career in the D League. Nembhard will become a better player and the team will benefit from his talents. Glad he’s staying.

  3. Glad he’s back, although I’m not sure he will play as much next season as this past season. He is much better in a halfcourt offense, and that’s not White’s preferred style of playing. Will be an interesting season to watch unfold with more talent on the roster.

  4. How amazing would it be if White could land Kerry Blackshear? It would give next year’s team, barring another year of ridiculous injury setbacks in the front court, a great opportunity for a big season. Just have to wait and see….was actually surprised that he didn’t withdraw from the draft and announce his transfer location all at the same time.

  5. This is the result that I think most expected. He was good, but not one-and-done good. This will be better for both Nembhard and the Gators. No harm in him exploring his options, though, with the possible exception of some hurt feelings on the part of a few fans who take any perceived slight of the Gators personally.

  6. I commented emphatically that he should return, but I guess there no real issue in doing what he did. Glad to have him back…work on that jumper off season with your HS alum Ben Simmons this off season for you have the tools to be a very good player.

  7. Nembs got his answer. My source at IMG told me Nembs was informed he would NOT be drafted and his game was not ready for any mid-to-upper overseas league. He got a thorough analysis of his game and it’s not NBA ready–yet. Improve dribble drive and jump shot.

  8. I am pretty sure this is how it went down:

    “Sorry, kid, but you have to prove you can play even slower. The NBA is all about sleep-walking up the court, then standing around dribbling pointlessly while the shot clock winds down, then taking terrible, low-percentage shots.”

    “Um, that’s pretty much all I did last year.”

    “Yes, but now– even slower still. You should look like you are not doing anything most of the time. You should look like you are walking under water wearing 50 pound weights on each ankle. I mean, slooooooow. The NBA is about boring fans and getting low ratings while scoring no points.”

    “Well, I guess I am in the right program for that skillset.”

    “Yeah, you are. Remember— nothing is the answer. Stand around. Dribble. When your team is down 10 points and time is running out, just wander slowly up court watching the second tick away, then when you get past the half court line?”

    “Stand around doing nothing? Hmmn. Coach has been telling me the same thing. I guess I’ll work on my NOTHING game.”

    “YES! YES! YES!!!!!!!”

    “Thhhaaaaaaaaank yooooooouuuuuuu, sssssiiiiiiiirrrrr.”

    “What are you doing?”

    “Talking in slow motion?”

    “You got it! That’s it! Do everything slow like you are a zombie!!!!!!”