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Friday, July 1, 2011
Gators to feature revamped frontcourt

By Diamond Leung

While much of the offseason buzz in the SEC has gone to Kentucky, it is Florida that is the defending regular-season champion in the conference. The Gators return their high-scoring backcourt of Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton from their Elite Eight team, providing them with invaluable experience in the lineup.

But who will come up big for Florida in the frontcourt now that Vernon Macklin, Chandler Parsons, and Alex Tyus are now in the pros?

“It’s going to be a little bit of a different team for us than it has been the last two years just because we pretty much lost our entire starting frontcourt,” said Florida coach Billy Donovan, who last week saw Parsons and Macklin get selected in the second round of the NBA draft.

That means Patric Young, the former McDonald’s All-American who showed flashes of his potential as a freshman, can expect to step into the lineup and play an important role. It also means uncertainty as the status of forwards Cody Larson and Erik Murphy remains unclear.

They are suspended while facing burglary charges, and due to the ongoing investigation, Donovan isn’t commenting much on them other than to say they are enrolled in summer school.

The Gators have some other intriguing pieces as well that will give Donovan plenty of options when forming a rotation. Incoming freshman guard Brad Beal is ESPNU’s No. 4-ranked recruit. Mike Rosario will be eligible after transferring in from Rutgers. Scottie Wilbekin also will continue to fight for playing time in the crowded backcourt.

“It’s a young team that I think has got a great attitude.” Donovan said.