Gators Basketball: The New Faces of Florida

Eric DormanAnalyst IFebruary 14, 2008

With the Florida Gators winning the National Title last year, Billy Donovan has had to let his seniors go.

Those seniors include: Joakim Noah, Lee Humprey, Al Hortford, and Torrian Green.

Now most of his seniors are in the NBA; Al Hortford got picked by the Atlanta Hawks, Noah got picked by the Chicago Bulls, and Green got picked in the final round of the NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. It has been a tough road for Noah and Green, but Hortford is an amazing rookie NBA star player. I knew that Hortford would be a great NBA player, but not this early on in his career.

As far as Billy Donovan, Florida's head coach, he has had to do some major recruiting to get talented freshman from around the nation.

The surprising thing is, there are only two remaining players on the Gators—Walter Hodge and Spatties. The new guys are: Nick Calathes from the McDonalds' All-American Team, Lucas, and Warner.

This new group of Florida freshmen has already made an impact in the NCAA with the Gators beating Kentucky in OT. The one great thing about this Florida team is that they can win games in the final minutes of any tight ball game.

The Gators are not ranked in the Top 25 yet, but they are certainly proving to be a favorite down the road to maybe win it all in the coming years.

As for right now in college basketball, well...North Carolina is still my pick to win it all, or maybe Kansas. But with Florida getting so many talented freshmen, it's no wonder this group of young Florida Gators seem to be the next rising team in college basketball for years to come.