Who was the Greatest? Part 5

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. 30-35.

We enter the final three editions of our look at the greatest Gators ever to wear each number on the basketball floor. Today it's the guys who wore numbers in the 30's. Once again there were some pretty tough calls to be made, and one number where it was hard to choose anyone.

# 30 ----- Carlos Morrison ----- He was a pretty good player for the Gators in 1962 and '63, averaging 8.0 points and 5.7 rebounds. It speaks volumes of Florida's need to give this jersey number to one of this year's hot shot freshmen. Alex Tyus would look good in it.

# 31 ----- Gray Keller ----- This St. Petersburg native averaged a double-double (14.5/11.3) in his three Gator seasons in the mid-sixties. Keller earned All-SEC recognition. He was a key part of the 1967 team that was the best in Gator history for a long time, posting a 21-and-4 record with a 14-and-4 SEC slate. Unfortunately that was an era when only conference champs got to go to the NCAA Tournament.

# 32 ----- Livingston Chatman ----- Dick Tomlinson, LeRon Williams and Al Bonner all wore this number, but the choice ironically came down to a pair of Gator forwards from Lakeland Kathleen High School. Chris Richard was a force off the bench for two NCAA titles, but Chatman had the better career. He broke on the scene with a superb effort against Georgia Tech and his sophomore season helped the Gators to win the school's first SEC Title. He was the MVP of the SEC Tournament. Despite losing most of junior season to the bizarre season under Don DeVoe, Chatman finished with 1,331 points and 630 rebounds.

# 33 ----- Dwayne Schintzius ----- Like Chatman his career was tainted by that disastrous 1989-90 season, but it doesn't diminish his career. Schintzius was the key player in taking Florida from an NIT program to three consecutive NCAA bids. He was one of the better players in the nation his junior year when he averaged18 points and 9.7 rebounds. His 272 blocked shots may remain a school record forever and he's the only SEC player to amass 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 blocked shots. People tend to focus too much on what Dwayne could have been instead of appreciating the second best center in Gator history.

# 34 ----- Cliff Luyk ----- With apologies to two-sport star Rick Casares and my dear friend and broadcast partner, Bill Koss this is a very easy selection. This big man came up just short of 1,000 career points, missing by six. Still he joins Neal Walk, Gary Keller and Chip Williams as the only four Gators to average a career double-double (15.1/12.2). His 1962 season (21.3/15.3) is one of the best single seasons any Gator has ever had.

# 35 ----- Dametri Hill ----- You know you're special when your shot gets its own nickname. "Da-Meat-Hook" was the baby jump-hook that helped Hill become a scoring force in the low post despite being just 6'6". He scored just eleven points as a freshman after showing up hugely overweight. But Hill got himself in shape and had three excellent seasons after that. He helped the Gators to the Final Four in 1994 and two years later was the MVP of the All-Star game played on the off day of the Final Four (why did they cancel that game?).

Only two more groups of players and some strange situations coming up shortly. As always your feedback is welcome.

  • Friday's look at #20-25
  • Wednesday's look at #10-15
  • Tuesday's look at #1-5
  • Monday's look at #0-00

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