Staying or going?

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Call it a numbers crunch.

Florida is set to enter next season with nine scholarship players
returning and five more who have signed letters of intent for the
2008-09 season.

That’s 14 players for 13 scholarship slots. It has also led to rumors that at least one, if not more, of the nine current scholarship players will leave the program next season.

But as of Thursday night, each player I spoke to said he intends to return next year. Junior guard Walter Hodge, seven credits shy of graduation, said he intends to come back for his senior year to graduate. Sophomore forward Jonathan Mitchell and freshman guard/forward Adam Allen said they will be back despite playing limited minutes this season.

And while speculation swirls that sophomore center Marreese Speights will declare for the NBA Draft later this spring, Speights said in the locker room following Thursday night’s loss to Alabama he would like to be back to help Florida return to the NCAA Tournament next season.

If everyone decides to come back, it does create an interesting dilemma heading into next season.