Lanier: Beal a ‘team guy’

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Former Florida assistant coach Rob Lanier admitted it was an agonizing decision to leave for Texas, especially due to his close relationship with Billy Donovan.

Lanier’s legacy at UF includes convincing Donovan to take a chance on unpolished center Vernon Macklin. Macklin, who had two disappointing seasons at Georgetown before transferring to UF, developed into an NBA second round draft pick.

Lanier also was instrumental in the recruitment of Kenny Boynton and incoming 2011 freshman phenom guard Bradley Beal. And Lanier said he thinks Beal will adapt well at UF no matter what his role entails in 2011-12.

“I think he’s got an advanced understanding of the game, number one and of the team concept,” Lanier said. “I think there has been so much talk about how Billy is going to manage all of his guards because obviously when you talk about high level players, egos come into play. But I think Bradley is wired is such in a way that he’s going to be an asset in that way because he’s such a team guy.

“So he’s going to see beyond stats and all that, his motivation in basketball in winning. So I think he will do more to help that dynamic than to confuse it.”

Beal finished as the fourth-ranked player in the nation according to Rivals.com, averaging 32.4 ppg to earn Gatorade National Player of the Year Honors. It’s rare for a player of that caliber to start the season on the bench, but Florida returns its starting backcourt of Boynton and senior point guard Erving Walker.

Also, Florida adds combo guard Mike Rosario, a Rutgers transfer who averaged 16.1 ppg in Big East play in 2009-10. Former Florida forward Chandler Parsons said Rosario was the best shooter in practice last season.

Donovan said he intends to start three guards next season, and didn’t rule out the possibility of playing all four on the court at the same time.

“If there was a dynamic where Brad Beal had to come off the bench, Brad Beal is fully capable of making that into a positive,” Lanier said. “And that’s above and beyond talking about the skill level or anything like that. He’s beyond his years as it relates to the team concept.”

Starting or coming off the bench, Lanier said that Beal is capable of being an impact player in the SEC. Asked about any potential flaws in Beal’s game, Lanier said:  “Not much missing there. I’ve been doing this 21 years, watched a lot of guys and I saw a lot of his games, and I really enjoyed them, I really enjoyed watching all of them.”

Other notes:

— Will Yeguete finished international play averaging 6.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, helping lead France to a bronze medal in the FIBA 20-under European Championships.

— Former Gator forward Alex Tyus is taking Hebrew lessons to prepare for his first season overseas to play with Maccabi Ashdod. Tyus, who frequently visited Hillel at UF, converted to Judaism shortly after marrying his wife, Ally, who is Jewish. Former FSU guard Jason Rich, who played in Jerusalem last season, said Tyus will enjoy playing in Israel, “It’s very wide open, up-and-down play, which plays to his strengths,” said Rich, who is playing next season in Belgium. “His athleticism will take him a long way.”

— A source close to Chandler Parsons said he is mulling an offer to play in France due to the NBA lockout. Under terms of the deal, the Houston Rockets would still hold Parsons’ rights. Parsons, Florida’s first-ever SEC player of the year, was drafted in the second round (38th overall) by the Rockets last month.

9 COMMENTS

  1. So Tyus has converted to Judaism just to prepare for his first season overseas to play with Maccabi Ashdod? Hope he has other convictions for a religious conversion other than facilitating a current pro career. Always knew Tyus’s basketball focus was solely on making it as a pro, but converting religions just to help him fit in with his first pro job would truly be one ridiculous, extreme, bizarre career move.

  2. Diego,

    Alex began the conversion process as a student at UF, way before he even thought of playing pro ball in Israel. Alex frequently visited ‘UF Hillel’ (Center for Jewish studies at UF) with his girlfriend now wife.

    Alex is a great young man who happens to be married to a Jewish woman and this was in no way done as an attempt to “help him fit in with his first pro job”.

  3. Thanks, Matthew. That Tyus story is a nice personal tidbit that’s the sort of thing we never know about sports stars. The silly slam by the other guy is the common small view of Internet-based losers.

  4. I was basically quoting exactly what the story said. Read the article again. Tid bit by Brockway was highly misleading. I stand by what I said, but obviously there was more to the story than the article made out. (So what I said did not apply to Tyus’s facts.) The religious conversion, per Matthew’s facts, really was NOT “to prepare for his first season overseas” in Israel. Rather, Tyus has true religious devotion to Judaism. You got a problem with that “The Boss”?

  5. Thanks for the link Diego, great read!

    Also: I’m not sure why ‘The Boss’ attacked you like that, he was way out of line. I totally understand how after reading Kevin’s original entry how one may form the exact opinion that you had.

    Also, I can’t agree with you more, the media should cover the great kids like Alex and not the kids that are selfish and get themselves in trouble.

    Go Gators!

  6. Thanks to a good wife Mr. Alex Tyus is becoming more & more deeply spiritual….. hope he has good success with great salary because much will go to worthy causes — best marital wishes..

    I am no longer religious ( I miss that )…. I could not be a member of Jesus’ disciples but I sure am thankful for the goodness-concepts they laid down.