Macklin Transfer Signals Speights' Departure

Billy Donovan's decision to accept the transfer of former Georgetown big man Vernon Macklin is a pretty clear sign that Marreese Speights will not be back next season.

Oh sure, there's time for Speights to reconsider his decision to enter the NBA draft. However, that would once again place the Gators one over the NCAA scholarship limit of 13 for next season. While that may be a minor problem in March it would be a much larger one come June.

Macklin is an interesting prospect who, ironically teamed with Speights at Hargrave Military Academy two years ago. In fact, many credited Macklin's work ethic with forcing Speights to practice harder to earn playing time at the prep school.

He is an athletic guy with excellent jumping ability and is viewed as more of a defensive/rebounding presence than a guy who can get points in the paint. That might be somewhat problematic since incoming freshman Kenny Kadji brings a similar resume to Gainesville, but that's what coaching is for. Certainly Macklin's presence at practice every day should help Kadji and fellow freshman Eloy Vargas make the transition from high school to major college basketball.

And what if Speights should decide to return? Well that's another thing that coaches get paid to figure out.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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