Boynton to see more time at pg


One dilemma that Florida will face in the 2012-13 season will be replacing departed senior point guard Erving Walker.

While Walker had his up-and-down moments in big games, the 5-foot-8 guard still was Florida’s best ball-handler last season. He also left UF as the school’s all-time leader in assists (547).

The two leading candidates to replace Walker are junior Scottie Wilbekin and senior Kenny Boynton. While Wilbekin is a more natural fit at the point based on his skills and steady play, Boynton would give UF the scoring element at point guard that Florida coach Billy Donovan covets.

“The three years he’s been here, he’s played some point,” Donovan said by phone from Colorado Springs, Colo., over the weekend. “I think we’re going to need him to play some point. I think Scottie is the next logical guy in line. We signed Braxton Ogbueze who is a freshman. Kenny is a senior, so I don’t think there’s any question that Kenny is going to have to play some extra point because I think that’s best for our team.”

For Boynton, a move to point would help his future stock as well. You don’t find too many 6-foot-2 shooting guards in the NBA, even those with Boynton’s college scoring ability. To have a chance to make an NBA roster, Boynton needs to show that he’s versatile enough to be a combo guard at the next level.

Donovan also said he’s pleased with the addition of South Carolina transfer forward Damontre Harris to the roster. Harris, who was second in the Southeastern Conference in blocked shots last season (2.3 bpg) won’t be eligible to play until the 2013-14 season.

“I feel comfortable with Damontre,” Donovan said. “I have a familiarity with him. South Carolina, playing them twice the last two years, I’ve seen him a lot on film. He’s familiar with our league.

“He’s got a year to sit out. I think it will be great for our frontcourt players that he’s here. I think he’ll be really good for our frontcourt players. Our frontcourt players will be good for him. More competition in practice, so I’m really, really excited about him. I think he can be a big help to us.”

Donovan is in Colorado Springs for the Team USA 18-under men’s basketball trials. He’s the head coach for the Team USA under 18s in the FIBA Americas championships in Sao Sebastiao do Paraiso, Brazil. The team leaves for Brazil on Tuesday.








  1. I think that the competition for the starting spot vacated by Walker will likely be between Rosario, Prather and Wilbekin with Boynton playing either guard spot depending on whom else steps up where. It should make for a good competition at both guard spots and give Donovan several options each game depending on the size and quickness of the opponent. Prather will also continue to play some small forward to add some depth along the front line, which is a little thin; so Rosario and Wilbekin should also both get significant minutes no matter who gets the start.
    Boynton can play the point well, but may suffer somewhat from not developing the same level of comfort that comes from playing one spot. The experience, overall depth and balance of the Gators, not to mention the hunger to get to the Final Four after two years of tough losses in the Elite 8, bode well for a good run this coming year. If Murphy and Young can grow-up and step into leadership rolls, the sky is the limit. I’m looking forward to seeing these guys get at it. Thanks for the update. I do wish Boynton would put more arc on the ball, especially when he gets tired.

  2. Our most explosive backcourt would be Boynton at point and Rosario (presumably healthy for once) at SG. Prather doesn’t handle the ball well so I don’t see him at PG. I expect the freshmen will contribute a lot more than Billy will admit before they hit the court. Look at UK with three freshmen. Boynton needs to concentrate on ball handling this summer.

  3. prather is going to improve and will be UF starting small forward and a good one..he know what he has to do…he doesn’t have be a great ball handler like a point forward…he just can’t turn it over carelessly..but he will give you scoring and rebounding and defense as well…but uf will need for this freshmans to bring a least one or two..and they need another big man as well…really bad.

  4. For Donvan to mention Braxton Ogbueze in the same breath as Boynton speaks volumes to me. I’m looking forward to seeing him play. I like Rosario, but he will be more erratic more often at the point than Walker ever was. At least we know BD will keep us competitive and fun to watch.

  5. Here’s your starting line up:

    G Rosario
    G Wilbekin
    G Boynton
    F Young
    C Murph

    First subs will be Yeugette and Prather up front and Brax at PG.

    Depending on Larsons’ development, we can play a larger lineup of Prather at the 3.

  6. lots of potential with his team… really hurts that annually we get beat out by kentucky and others for the big man we desperately need… billy shows his top shelf coaching ability when fielding teams like this one.. the last 2 years he’s shown what a great coach can do with mostly average SEC talent …

  7. Never liked the Wilbikin signing. He is not a major D1 player. He would be challenged to start on top mid majors. He is so limited offensively. He consistently gets across half court with the ball and gets it out of his hands as soon as he can. When it swings back to him he gets out even faster. Success offensively for him is not turning the ball over. He does that by not talking little to no chance at making offensive basketball moves. In a guard oriented game it is tough being out of your league offensively. I would have loved to have kept that scholarship or handed it out that year to point guard with offensive talent.

    I have said Donovan seems to offers a player who is a stretch player in our league and the NCAA tournament heavyweight competition. Unlike football when these type of players are Jr and Srs you are going to find yourself having to give them big minutes, you can’t hide them. They are going to be a drag on your effectiveness. Dan Werner was a perfect example. Really was not a top 25 program players. He ended up playing a large role on our team but was utterly ineffective because he was out of his league.

    I will say I am glad Walker is finally out of the system. He was such a defensive liability and he didn’t generate enough offense consistently in big games to offset what he gave up. He just too small to be a force on a team that considers itself a top tier basketball program. He had his moments.

    It is amazing to me William, a former point guard himself, has had a heck of a time getting dynamic point guards to UF, with the exception of Williams, Green, and Roberson. Over 17 years that is not a good ratio. We have had guys too short, no shot, no real ability to break a team down, or minimum floor generalship. He has often had to jury-rig a player who was not a real point guard into his point guards spot. Orien Greene, Jusitn Hamilton, Walker (really a 2 guard), and now Boynton.

    I do hope moving forward he can convince real dynamic point guards to come lead our teams. There is a plethora of quality point guards coming out of HS, but we often are left trying to get small 2 guard to play point. We have sorely lacked a floor general the last two years in the NCAAs. We struggled to execute down the stretch with tiny 2 guard Walker running point.

  8. To be fair, Calathes was the #1 or 2 PG coming out, and was our best player both his years. Our fortunes would have been very different had he stayed in school.

    Brett Nelson was a bit more of a combo guard, but without him, we don’t beat Duke and North Carolina in the same tournament and get to the finals against Michigan State.

    Not to worry, however. Braxton (2012) is just the beginning of a great stretch of PGs. Kasey Hill (2013) is arguably the best PLAYER in the junior class and he didn’t even win Mr. Basketball in his own state. That honor went to sophomore PG Joel Berry (2014), who is a good bet to come to UF after Kasey is one-and-done.

  9. Calatheas was a solid guard and I forgot about him. Nice game, but not athletic enough or quick enough to be a force against NCAA tournament level defenses. Couldn’t defend at a high NCAA tournament level.

    I am optimistic about the future you outlined. William is evolving as a coach. In the past he recruited and designed an offense in his own image. For a guy who could recruit with the best coaches he reserved spots and minutes for gym rat great three point shooting players like him. But like him limited athletically, quickness, and defensively:
    – Nelson
    – Dupay
    – Walsh
    – Calatheas
    – Werner
    – Humphries
    – Walker
    – Bonner

    There is room on our team for this type of player, you just can’t have a critical mass at one time, which he often had, and you can’t give them the keys to drive the team. This type of players is of value when you have one on the floor at a time and the focus is on other more athletic and gifted players. We had that horrific stretch of NCAA tournament 1 or 2 and done, when he had these guys lead the team.

    Recently and as with the two years of the 04s he has recruited a heavier blend of athletic players. When he gets away from trying to be Duke deep south, and more like KY and NC, our tournament runs are deeper. You just have to have quick, skilled athletic guys on the court in critical masses in the NCAAs. You have to have quickness and length to defend; and to beat real good athletic defenders off the dribble and get your shots off deep in the tournament.

    Which is why you need athletic, quick point guards, with decent size. Or a team full of beast in all the other positions, which is hard to have. The 04s had beast surrounding Green.