Future of the position: Small forward

The depth on the Florida roster next year will provide flexibility at the small forward position. Last year, the Gators didn't play with a small forward often, instead going with Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario and Scottie Wilbekin in a three-guard lineup. The added depth this year means Florida could still use a three-guard lineup or try other players as a true small forward.

If Florida head coach Billy Donovan elects to go with a true small forward, the best returning option is Casey Prather. He was always the talk of practices when showing off his athleticism and dunking ability, but it didn't translate to the floor until late in his sophomore season. Prather then had a strong NCAA Tournament and was ready to have a breakout junior year.

Then came the injury. Prather suffered a concussion in preseason practice, and once week before last season's season opener, Prather had another concussion in practice that kept him out the first few weeks of the season. When he got on the court, he was an important contributor. He played in 29 games while starting two and averaging 6.2 points.

Prather's defense and energy off the bench were important. He showed capable of being a force in Florida's press with his expanding offensive game helping him shoot a team-high 62.2% on 127 field goals for the season. The Florida roster is built to run next season, and Prather at the small forward is an important part of that.

Prather is creative on offense

But he's not the only one at small forward that will help.

The hype around transfer forward Dorian Finney-Smith has been building since he came to campus. He came to Gainesville after playing in all 33 games as a freshman at Virginia Tech, averaging 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds while starting in all but three games.

Finney-Smith played power forward during most of his year at Virginia Tech but is expected to play mostly small forward at Florida. His three-point shot isn't the strength of his game, but he can hit some. His strength is in slashing to the basket and getting to the rim. The 6-8, 205-pound forward also has length that benefits him on the defensive end. He could even earn the nod to start over Prather at the beginning of the season.

DeVon Walker played in 99 minutes of 25 games as a freshman, but the freshman struggled when getting a chance. He went 4-for-22 from the field. At 6-6, 191 pounds, Walker needs to bulk up during the offseason to help Florida at the small forward and potentially at power forward.

Walker showed his athleticism last year

Going into last season, Will Yeguete was set to play power forward. Even at 6-7, 240 pounds, Yeguete has a knack for rebounding and for getting steals. He always seems to be in the right place. At small forward, he can be more effective in the press and change the game there. But with Erik Murphy and Patric Young taking most of the minutes last year, Yeguete was supposed to be their top backup.

That was until the suspension of Scottie Wilbekin, forcing Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario to start the only two guards with Yeguete as the small forward. He had to learn the position on the fly, and as he became more comfortable there, his production increased. With the loss of Murphy after last season, it's likely that Yeguete will start his senior year at power forward, but he can also provide depth at small forward with his experience.

If Florida elects to go with a three-guard lineup, Michael Frazier could slide to small forward with Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill at the other two guard positions. Frazier proved last season that he can get in the paint and rebound, so he could also handle the position.

Most of the small forward questions will be answered during preseason practice in the fall, but there are plenty of options on the roster.

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