Shyatt Talks Hoops Looking Ahead

The annual SEC Basketball summer conference call with the coaches did not include Gator Head Coach Billy Donovan. Due to travel conflicts Donovan was at a cruising altitude of 27,000 feet when his turn came up so Gator Associate Head Coach Larry Shyatt offered an update on the Gator program and a glance ahead at the 2009-10 season.

On impact the newcomers should have:

"We'll probably have the ability to play more people on next year's team at their natural positions. Erving Walker will be able to play more point, Dan Werner will be able to play more "three", and Alex Tyus will be able to play more "four" where they're naturally more comfortable."

"We'll have a lot of different options in the frontcourt with Werner, Tyus, (Kenny) Kadji, (Vernon) Macklin, (Eric) Murphy, Eloy (Vargas) and even (Chandler) Parsons at times. I think we've got a lot to choose from."

The Gators of course lost Nick Calathes to the Greek professional league in the off-season leaving Florida with an incredibly thin backcourt situation with Walker, Kenny Boynton, Ray Shipman and possibly Parsons the only guards on scholarship.

"We are just very thin and frail in the backcourt right now. We most definitely need a point guard in that 2010 class. It does, in this case put us in a predicament this coming season in terms of lacking a true point guard and depth at the point guard."

Much is being expected of Florida's top recruit, multi-dimensional guard Kenny Boynton from American Heritage School in Plantation. Shyatt was asked if Boynton can handle the point.

"We're really setting our jets for Erving Walker, who's really naturally a point and played that quite often in high school. Really with Nick on the floor last year (Ervin) really played off the ball more. Kenny Boynton is a tenacious enough athlete. I think he's "all in" as they would say and will be ready to do whatever it is. Almost like Erving did as a freshman. But make no mistake about it we need a point in that 2010 class really bad."

Shyatt talked about the Gators plans for how they will play on the floor next year; even though he admitted it was too early to be sure of what this team will be best at.

"We plan on playing more man and we plan on pressing more with a little more depth. But a lot of it will depend, as it always does on that first four-to-six week block when you're on the floor every day working with them and seeing what you think they are going to do better. We definitely have to defend and rebound better if we're going to win and win more big games this season."

Shyatt also says he completely understands why Nick Calathes made the decision he did about where he was going to play basketball in the year ahead.

"I don't think there's any question that Nick left for the reasons that our sons and daughters would leave. A $3.3 million contract is easy pickings. I think this was an opportunity for him in terms of personal wealth and taking that next step to playing professionally."

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