Who was the greatest? Part 1

For the next two weeks, FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel breaks down the best to wear each number for Florida Gators basketball. It's an encore of Larry's series last year when he listed the best to wear each number for Gator football. In his first installment, Larry tackles the zeros.

Last year at this time I went through all the football players who had worn each number at the University of Florida and chose the best at each number. It was a fun exercise and it generated a lot of discussion and debate among those who read it.

This year we'll do the same with regards to Florida Basketball. This will be a shorter series (seven parts instead of ten) with fewer numbers to consider (37 rather than 99).

As was the case with the football series, this listing will have some very close calls on it as well as some numbers where frankly no player really accomplished very much. There will also be quite a few numbers where there can be no debate as to who was the greatest Gator to wear it. And of course there will be a case or two where a player wore more than one number in his career and I had to choose which one to use.

Also keep in mind there are limits on basketball numbers, so no one has worn a number ending in "6", "7", "8", or "9".

With that said, let's start off slowly with the two numbers that add up to nothing at all.

#0 ---- Orien Greene ---- He came from Gainesville High School with the potential to be a truly special player. Greene was an above average ball handler and passer and superb defensive player, but never could seem to motivate himself. I think the most common two-word phrase I heard when he was a Gator was "Orien, MOVE!" Still in his two seasons he was plus-73 in assist/turnover differential. And he might have been the only Gator to wear "0". He wore # 1 his second season, but I need him here.

#00 ---- Ronnie Montgomery ---- This was a tough call between Montgomery and Brent Wright. Wright was the ultimate lunch pail battler every coach loves. Still, Montgomery is the only Gator to dish out 500 assists (503). He actually had more assists than points (500) but impressively tallied just 198 turnovers. He was an important part of the first two Gator squads to make it to the NCAA Tournament.

There we have our first two guys, and there's more to come. Tomorrow check on the greatest Gators to wear the numbers one through five. Let me know what you think.

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