Hoops Recruiting May Not Be Over

Billy Donovan has what appears to be a packed roster for 2008-09. The Gators have ten scholarship players for the upcoming season and none of them are seniors. Add in the three public commitments from the class of 2008 and Florida is right up against the scholarship limit of 13.

That doesn't mean the Gators are necessarily done with this year's crop of high school seniors. The likelihood is that attrition will claim at least one of those guys before the start of school a year from August and possibly two or more. Thus, Florida may very well add a body to the front court in the anticipation of that very thing happening.

With or without an additional body, Florida has a three member class that is bound to be nationally ranked. Kenny Kadji, a 6-11 center, is already a consensus top 25 player with limitless potential. Rayford Shipman is a two guard with game and brains. And 5-8 Erving Walker from New York has been described to me as a "cat quick version of Teddy Dupay".

What About Attrition?

Attrition simply describes the process by which players leave a program with eligibility still remaining. This past year the Gator basketball team lost four players to "attrition" when the oh-fours left early for the NBA. There are several kinds of attrition that programs must be prepared to deal with.

Turning pro ----- This is the most obvious and perhaps the "best" way to lose someone early. A player has developed to the point where he can make a living (or in some cases a fortune) in their chosen sport.

Transferring ----- Mohamed Abukar went to San Diego State. Ryan Appleby went home to Washington. Home sickness and/or lack of playing time are the two primary causes of this form of attrition. It is also used to mask less pleasant reasons for moving on listed below.

Academic Shortcomings ----- These are rarely publicized as such, but Florida has lost players in a variety of sports who could not pass the CLAST test (before junior year) or post good enough grades to be accepted into upper division classes (after three years).

Discipline ----- Sometimes student-athletes make colossally bad decisions or continue a pattern of lesser offenses that seemingly never ends. Those folks usually find themselves in another uniform before long.

Florida basketball right now has players who fit into more than one of the above categories. I'm not naming names or issues, but history and common sense tell me there's likely to be room for one more in the fall of 2008. Of course that could leave the Gators with one or zero scholarships for the following year, but attrition will take care of that, too.

Disuss on the FightinGators.com premium forum


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