Who was the Greatest? Part 3

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 this installment, Larry tackles No. 10-15.

In our third installment we bring you the best Florida Basketball players who donned the uniform numbers 10 thru 15. I think we have some pretty good debates in this group.

#10 ----- Brett Nelson ----- He was dubbed "The West Virginia Riflemen" by my television broadcast partner Bill Koss and for almost three full seasons he was a deadly accurate shooter for the Gators. Then he was punched by teammate LaDarius Halton prior to the NCAA Tournament game against Creighton and was never the same afterwards. He was 4-for-19 in that game, 2-for-10 from long range. Before the punch, Nelson's career numbers were 12.4 points a game, .424 from the field and .426 from three-point range. Afterwards they fell to 6.5 points, .288 and .302. Despite that, Nelson ended up with over 14-hundred points and 406 assists. The Gators were 100-32 in his four seasons.

#11 ----- Vernon Maxwell ----- It pains me to pass over Taurean Green and Tony Miller, but there's no denying the ability and productivity of Maxwell's four seasons. The Gainesville Buchholz product starred for four seasons and despite the record books' insistence to the contrary is Florida's All-Time leading scorer. "Mad Max" scored 28 in Florida's first NCAA Tournament game against North Carolina State and averaged 23.6 in five tournament contests. He doesn't win any citizenship awards, but man could he play.

#12 ----- Dan Cross ----- This was a very competitive number with Vernon Delancy, Justin Hamilton and Lee Humphrey all warranting consideration. But Cross' overall excellence earned him the nod. The Carbondale, Illinois native didn't do a lot in his first two seasons but his last two were superb. He averaged 15.7 points and four rebounds for the Gators' 1994 Final Four team. He followed that up with 18 points a game as senior, earning first team All-SEC recognition for the second time.

#13 ----- Joakim Noah ----- Another tough decision here between Noah's three-year career and the two superb seasons Mike Miller put together. Noah gets the advantage for his superior rebounding and shot blocking. If you compare Miller's seasons with the last two that Joakim played their scoring is almost identical. His chest-thumping enthusiasm will remain etched in Gator fans' minds forever. Special mention of high scoring Joe Hobbs who averaged 23.9 points his senior year.

#14 ----- Eddie Shannon ----- This is the number that Shannon wore for his first two seasons in Gainesville. The West Palm Beach native played one year under Lon Kruger and three under Billy Donovan. Despite being legally blind in one eye he was very productive, topping eleven-hundred points and over 300 rebounds.

#15 ----- Matt Bonner ----- A true scholar-athlete Bonner put together three superb years as a Gator. After averaging 4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds as a rookie, Bonner upped it to 14.9 and 7.0 over the next three seasons. Bonner is one of the rare ones, a first team All-SEC player on the court and in the class room.

As always, your input/reaction is strongly encouraged. Tomorrow, Gators in numbers 21-25.

  • Tuesday's look at #1-5
  • Monday's look at #0-00

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