Looking Ahead: The Gator Wings

Mike White is entering into his second year as the head coach of the Florida Men’s Basketball Team. He’s in the middle of building the team and program in his own way and that means some turnover is expected. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at the shooting guards and small forward types that will inherit the roster moving forward.

We talked about point guards in the last write up. One of the things we mentioned is that White would really like to have two guys on the court at the same time that can handle the ball… at least as much as possible. That could come in the form of one of the wings as well and one of the players we will mention should assume a combo guard role which means he will listed in both places.

Here are the guys that should fit the role as wing players moving forward…


The senior grad transfer was brought in because he can shoot the ball better than the Gators shot from the outside last year, he can handle the ball a bit, and he’s experienced.

We shouldn’t count on Barry as the guy to solve all the problems from outside, but he’s roughly a 40% shooter (33% from 3-point land) and he averaged over 19 points a game in his injury shortened junior year at the College of Charleston. One place he should help a lot is at the free throw line. Like his father, NBA legend Rick Barry, Canyon shoots from the charity stripe well and hit 84.5% of his free throws last season.


Hudson is a junior transfer from Virginia Tech and will have to sit out the 2016-17 season. When he is able to play as a redshirt junior in 2017-18 he will provide another long and athletic wing that shoots at a 40% clip, and 34.5% from beyond the arc.  


Allen is the returning leading scorer for the Gators at 11.6 points per game. He’s a 40% shooter and knows how to get to the basket. His expertise does not translate to his outside shot, where he is streaky and hits just 31.5 % from beyond the arc.

A good but not great defender, Allen is a positive at the free throw line where he shot 84.6% as a freshman. His ability to score disappeared sometimes as a freshman as he was willing to let others take over, but his gifts should be displayed more as a sophomore.


We talked about Hester among the point guards because he is a combo guard, but he is more of a wing than a point. He’s long, with the ability to get to the rim and score. Hester is also a terrific defender and can defend three positions on the floor.


Ballard is committed to White and the Gators for the 2017 class and will be starting his senior year of high school in September. White's second top 100 talent in the class, Ballard is a good one. 

Scout National Basketball Analyst Brian Snow has this to say about Ballard.

“Ballard brings a combination of size, athleticism, and scoring potential to Gainesville. While his form isn't picture perfect and his outside shot could still stand to improve, but he is someone who just finds a way to get buckets and points on the board. He does it in the mid-range; he does it going to the rim. He will get offensive rebounds, and just always seems to play hard.”

“Also he brings a good amount of defensive versatility to the court. Ballard has the size and athleticism to defend any of the three perimeter positions, and as he continues to get stronger he could become an absolute lock down defender at the next level.”


Robinson will play some as the small forward and some as a power forward for the Gators. From either spot he will be asked to shoot from outside and also drive to the rim. He’s ultra-quick and super long, just terrific all-around athleticism.

As a sophomore Robinson started 18 games but would have started more if he was more consistent. He’s a 45.8% shooter from the field and can hit the three, but would like to improve on his 31.8% from beyond the arc. He averaged 9 points a game. He really has elite athletic tools to play defense and rebound and averaged 5.6 boards a game in his 23 minutes on the court. Look for those minutes to jump considerably in his junior season along with the other stats mentioned.


Stone redshirted last season and White and company seem very happy with the way he has adjusted to things. Look for him to have a sizable role this season on the squad.

Here is what Scout National Analyst Rob Harrington said about Stone as a high school baller.

“Stone is at his best competing in a utility role, opportunistically scoring, rebounding, and making plays for others and stepping up on defense. Stone doesn't possess extraordinary quickness or straight-up leaping ability — he does jump fairly well off one foot with a running start — but brings consistent effort and production to the court.”

“He excels making little plays and makes some more noticeable ones as well. He's a smooth three-point shooter who needs a little time to get his shot, but his release is fluid and the results frequently accurate. At Florida, he could play the role of strong, bullying wing or a stretch four, depending on the team's needs.”


Bassett is primarily a four but with his athleticism he can see some time at the three. He’s long and lean and the type of athlete that White is looking to build his program with.

Here is what Scout National Analyst Evan Daniels had to say about him.

“Bassett has fine size, but good length and mobility for a power forward prospect. He runs the floor fluidly and does so with a purpose, often times beating the opposition to the other end. Offensively, Bassett still has a ways to go, as he lacks back to the basket moves or a face up game. But he will corral offensive boards, dunk drop off passes and finish in close range in transition.”

“Defensively, Bassett has potential. The tools we mentioned above – length, mobility and athleticism – factor in here. In our viewing, he competed and played hard. Bassett also is a good area rebounder that will fight for boards and pursue the ball with both hands. He also alters shots around the basket.”


The Gators seem to have an array of talent to go to at the two and three spots with different skills from different players that can complement each other. Now it is up to White and company to figure out ways to get them to work together.


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