National analysts high on Gators in 2014


It’s early, but national college basketball analysts project Florida as a top 10 team again next season.

Florida was picked 6th in the country in’s early Top 25 and 7th in Jason King’s preseason top 25 for 2013-14.

The Gators lose their top three scorers from 2012-13 (seniors Erik Murphy, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario), but return four seniors, including starting center Patric Young and starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin. The Gators also should be deeper next season with the additions of transfers Damontre Harris (center, South Carolina) and Dorain Finney-Smith (forward, Virgina Tech) and incoming freshman McDonald’s All Americans Kasey Hill (6-1, point guard) and Chris Walker (6-10, power forward). Florida’s rotation has the potential to be nine deep with the players mentioned above joining senior forwards Casey Prather and Will Yeguete and sophomore guard Michael Frazier II.

Other notes:

— Boynton and Rosario have accepted invitations to attend the Portsmouth Invitational, an NBA predraft camp for college seniors. Drills and games run Wednesday through Saturday. Other notable names attending Portsmouth include Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway, Texas A&M guard Elston Turner, Miami guard Durand Scott and former Arkansas-turned Butler guard Rotnei Clarke. A complete list of invitees can be found here.

— Florida senior forward Erik Murphy declined an invite to Portsmouth and is in the process of hiring an agent. Murphy has narrowed his list down to three candidates and will make a decision next week. The 6-foot-10 Murphy, who led the Southeastern Conference in 3-point shooting percentage at 45.3 percent, has been projected as a second round pickĀ  (50th overall) to the Atlanta Hawks by, an NBA mock draft website. Here’s a good profile on Murphy’s draft prospects from Draftexpress.

— Florida coach Billy Donovan earned $150,000 in total bonuses in 2013. According to his contract, Donovan received a $50,000 bonus for winning the SEC regular season title, $25,000 bonus for winning AP SEC coach of the year and $75,000 bonus for reaching the Elite Eight.

— For what it’s worth, Florida finished ninth in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, which was released after Louisville’s national title win over Michigan. The Gators finished the season 3-3 against teams who finished in the Top 25 in the poll, with wins against Marquette (11), Wisconsin (22) and Florida Gulf Coast (25). The losses came against Michigan (2), Arizona (14) and Kansas State (20).





  1. After 2007 title Billy Donovan said he next had to build a Florida tradition, which to me at least means a legacy of great alums dotting NBA rosters, a fraternity of Gator letter winners, an a consistency in competing annually for national honors. I would say Coach Donovan is well on his way on that mission. 2014 ought to bring one of his best-ever teams. Really can’t wait! Go Gators!