ESPN Ranks Florida in Way Too Early Top 25

635 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by ChicagoGator
Olivia Granaiola
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The Gators are ranked 4th in this edition. Getting transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr.; 5 stars, Scottie Lewis and Tre Man; and the return of Andrew Nembhard explain why.

Too high, too low, or just right?
Olivia Granaiola
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Top 50 C Omar Payne is also listed as a reason.
Ethan Hughes
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That's a little too high for me. I'd have them in the 10-15 range.
Olivia Granaiola
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I agree with you. 15-20 is where I would put the team pre-season.
ChicagoGator
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Should be 3 in my honest opinion. This team is better than Kentucky and may have more "talent" too. I agree that Kansas and Michigan State are the only two teams that are clearly above us right now. I assure you that there are not more than 10 teams that are better than Florida.
Ethan Hughes
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ChicagoGator said:

Should be 3 in my honest opinion. This team is better than Kentucky and may have more "talent" too. I agree that Kansas and Michigan State are the only two teams that are clearly above us right now. I assure you that there are not more than 10 teams that are better than Florida.
I just feel like a lot of the hype surrounding this team is based on recruiting rankings and raw talent. There are a lot of unproven players on this team. Yes, Nembhard is an elite passer, but he struggled to finish around the basket and his three-point shot wasn't very good, aside from his game-winner. Locke has the potential to be the country's best shooter, but he was hot and cold last season. If you read the scouting reports on Scottie Lewis, he is viewed as an elite athlete and defender who is extremely raw offensively. Obviously, offense was UF's biggest weakness. The depth behind Blackshear isn't great. And then I think there are legitimate concerns about Mike White's X's and O's. So, I think this team has Final Four potential, but they need to show me something before I'll rank them in the top-5.
ChicagoGator
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Ethan Hughes said:

ChicagoGator said:

Should be 3 in my honest opinion. This team is better than Kentucky and may have more "talent" too. I agree that Kansas and Michigan State are the only two teams that are clearly above us right now. I assure you that there are not more than 10 teams that are better than Florida.
I just feel like a lot of the hype surrounding this team is based on recruiting rankings and raw talent. There are a lot of unproven players on this team. Yes, Nembhard is an elite passer, but he struggled to finish around the basket and his three-point shot wasn't very good, aside from his game-winner. Locke has the potential to be the country's best shooter, but he was hot and cold last season. If you read the scouting reports on Scottie Lewis, he is viewed as an elite athlete and defender who is extremely raw offensively. Obviously, offense was UF's biggest weakness. The depth behind Blackshear isn't great. And then I think there are legitimate concerns about Mike White's X's and O's. So, I think this team has Final Four potential, but they need to show me something before I'll rank them in the top-5.
I see what you're saying, but what do you think Kentucky's preseason rank is based on every year? Recruiting rankings and raw talent.

Difference is that Florida has much more than that now with Nembhard, Locke, and Johnson returning as the core from last year's team. I actually think Nembhard developed into a fairly good finisher and shooter by the end of the year and Locke's inconsistency was caused by his hip injury, which he played through the 2nd half of the year.

You are correct that Lewis is better known for his defense, but you have to understand that it is only because his defense is THAT good. He is likely to be the #1 wing defender in the entire country next year and a Top 10-15 pick in the draft (maybe top 5). He is a fairly good finisher around the hoop (have you seen his dunks???) and his jumpshot is good enough to force defenders to guard him on the wing. I expect him to have a contribution similar to Corey Brewer at UF.

Regarding frontcourt depth, I actually really disagree that it's thin. Having a sizable backup center like Gak is something that most teams do not have. Bassett will play hard for his 10 minutes per game and think Payne and Jitoboh contribute in various ways. There's a reason Stokes transferred and it wasn't because the frontcourt is lacking personnel and minutes are easy to come by.
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