More on Painter


Florida team spokesman Fred Demarest confirmed Friday that DeShawn Painter has requested the release from his letter of intent.

Demarest said that Florida will grant the release. The process should officially be done by early next week, leaving the 6-foot-9 Painter open to sign with another school.

With Painter and Allan Chaney (transferred) now gone, it leaves Florida with 12 current scholarship players presuming sophomore point guard Nick Calathes returns. If Calathes leaves, Florida would be down to 11 scholarship guys.

That’s why Florida coach Billy Donovan is busy recruiting during the month-long April period. Word on the street is Billy D pursuing a number of guards, including Eric Beldsoe, John Wall and Rico Pickett. That tells me that Billy D is not confident that Calathes is coming back. Bledsoe, a 6-foot, 160-pound point guard from Birmingham, is a four-star prospect according to and has “high” interest in UF.

Wall is the top-rated point guard in the nation and would make a terrific freshman backcourt tandem with incoming 2009 five-star UF freshman Kenny Boynton. But Florida is late in the game in battling heavyweights like Kentucky and Duke for Wall’s signed letter of intent.

How the spring period goes will indiciate whether Florida’s brand name in recruiting is still strong based on the back-to-back national titles from 2006-07, or if the Gators took a hit from the back-to-back NIT appearances in 2008 and 2009.