The Florida Gators had a great season last year, making it to their second straight Elite Eight. Although they will have a good team for the 2012-13 college basketball season, losing a top 10 pick to the NBA is never an easy thing to rebound from.
We are, of course, talking about Brad Beal here.
In Beal's freshman season with the Gators, he managed to score 14.8 points per game and grab 6.7 rebounds per game. If Beal would have stuck around for at least one more year, those numbers would have likely been even better.
Beal was one of the best rebounding guards in all of college basketball last season, if not the best.
It is really hard to replace someone who could score from anywhere on the court, had an amazing basketball IQ, could play either guard position and could play defense on top of all of that.
However, Billy Donovan and Florida will have to find a way to replace its most talented player from last year. Luckily for the Gators, Kenny Boynton and Patric Young will both be back. However, with the loss of Beal, both of these players are going to have to completely step up their game.
Don't forget that Florida will also be without Erving Walker, but that is for a completely different reason, since he spent four great seasons playing for the Gators.
Losing a quality player like Beal is huge. The Gators won't only have to replace his very impressive numbers from last season, because that is the easy part. The hard part is finding a player that can come up clutch every time, play the game very intelligently and be an asset on both ends of the court.
That will be the real issue for Florida, and I am not sure that they can replace Beal, at least not this upcoming season. However, that does not mean that the Gators will have an off-year, because they are still a very talented team and could easily make the Elite Eight once again.
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