Future of the position: Shooting guard

Replacing the second leading scorer in school history won't be easy for Florida. Kenny Boynton leaves Gainesville after being a four-year starter at shooting guard and putting his name near the top of every statistical category. He brought stability in the backcourt. Michael Frazier earned playing time off the bench last season, and his three-point shooting will be needed.

Michael Frazier showed what he's capable of doing last season. He was fourth on the team in three-point attempts and makes, shooting 44.6% (52-111) from behind the three-point line. Frazier was behind Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario in both categories.

Frazier also came off the bench in all but one game last season. He averaged 18 minutes and 5.6 points per game, with 156 of his 202 total points coming from behind the three-point line.

Heading into last season, the loss of Brad Beal was a concern in multiple areas, but his rebounding skills would be missed. Florida head coach Billy Donovan didn't know where it would come from, but Frazier showed early in the season that he was capable of handling it. He averaged just 3.1 rebounds per game, but he showed capable of handling the small forward position.

As Frazier transitions into likely being the starting shooting guard, the area of his game that needs to take the next step is his defense. It got better throughout his freshman season, but Donovan still wanted to see more. He won't serve as the on-ball defender that Boynton was for his four years in Gainesville. He just has to be better at finding his spot on defense and not losing it.

Frazier seems like a lock to start at shooting guard because of his playing time as a freshman, but there also aren't many other options.

Dillon Graham paired with Braxton Ogbueze and DeVon Walker as the three freshmen that came off the bench during blowouts. When the Gators went through their injury-plagued times, Graham got more time on the floor. Donovan and the Florida coaching staff complimented Graham's passing ability and trusted him with the ball.

During the exhibition game against Nebraska-Kearney at the beginning of the season, Graham showed some dunking ability and aggressiveness. He now has a full offseason to prove that he can carry that aggression to the court during games and earn more playing time.

There are other options, even if they aren't ideal.

With the depth at point guard with Kasey Hill, Ogbueze and returning starter Scottie Wilbekin, the Gators will have to find ways to get Hill and Wilbekin on the floor together. That could come in a two-guard set with both on the floor.

That could mean Frazier slides to small forward for some time, or the Gators could play a traditional lineup with Casey Prather or Dorian Finney-Smith at small forward. There are options, but it comes down to how creative the Florida coaching staff wants to be with the group. They have enough talent to make the short shooting guard numbers work.

And of course, there's walk-on guard Jacob Kurtz. He's the one that usually gets on the court for the exciting times. When he's on the floor, it's usually good news for the Gators in the form of a blowout win.

Fightin Gators Top Stories