Big one that got away


Florida nearly pulled off a recruiting double fantasy this week.

Instead, the Gators were left to ponder how power forward Patrick
Patterson slipped away.

Patterson surprised some Wednesday when he announced his commitment to Kentucky. Many thought it was a foregone conclusion that he would follow friend and recent Florida point guard signee Jai Lucas to Gainesville.

In truth, Florida needed Patterson more than Lucas. The 5-foot-10 Lucas may be the eventual successor to the departed Taurean Green at the point, but 6-5 guard/forward Nick Calathes could have filled that role if Lucas went elsewhere.

Without Patterson, Florida faces the question of finding a second big body inside to line up next to sophomore center Marreese Speights. Wide-shouldered sophomore forward Jonathan Mitchell will likely get the first crack at the power forward spot. But Mitchell, generously listed at 6-foot-7, may lack the height to deal with some of the bigger frontlines in the Southeastern Conference.

Incoming freshmen forwards Chandler Parsons (6-9, 190) and Alex Tyus (6-8, 210) are tall enough, but lack the bulk to bang in the post