For all of the hand wringing and complaining we did about the Gators this season, they still made the NCAA Tournament and finished above .500 in a better SEC. I think we expect a lot out of our basketball program because of the two National Championships and the success of football. We seem to forget how much harder it is to find a Tim Tebow or Percy Harvin basketball player and that it takes three or four of those guys to go deep in the Tournament.
When grading the Gators, take that into consideration. The losses sustained by the Gators to pro leagues and transfers put this team in a rough spot, having to run an 8-man rotation with two guys (Erik Murphy, Ray Shipman) who are not mature enough to play a better role. But, we also saw Candler Parsons step out of the shadow of Nick Calathes and Kenny Boynton become a legit player. Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus have a lot of growing to do, but they will have the knowledge of fourth year players next season. As for Erving Walker, at least Billy Donovan can show Walker's performance in the BYU game to point guard recruits and say, "Look at how bad this is! You could start for us tomorrow!"
Looking at the Gators' body of work, I give the Gators a 'B' grade, about an 83 on the 100 point scale. They won a lot of close games, but also should have won other games (at Georgia, vs. South Alabama). Those wins would have meant better seeding and a deeper run in the Tournament. The thing that keeps coming back is that this team isn't very deep or talented. They won games on guts, not great shooting or defense. Their comeback against BYU was unreal, even if they could not close (which is a feature of the post-title Gators). Maybe if the Gators had more McDonald's All-Americans or seniors, I would grade them harder.
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