Florida Basketball Looks to the Future

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - As bitter a pill as Florida's loss to BYU in the NCAA Tournament was for them to swallow, there was optimism afterward about the future prospects for a team that expects to return all five starters from Thursday's game.

All players asked about their plans indicated that they expect to be a part of the team in 2010-11, meaning if that's true this will be the first year since 2007 the Gators won't find themselves shorthanded as a result of an early departure.

"We come back next year with a lot of experience, and I think we'll come back... a hungrier team," said freshman Kenny Boynton.

"With this loss, we'll build on it for next year and hope we get back in the NCAA Tournament and make some more noise."

Alex Tyus, who weighed the possibility of a transfer after last season, made clear he will be back for his senior campaign as a Gator.

"With summer coming up, I'm going to try and get better as a player and think about what we could do different next year."

Billy Donovan is also feeling good about what's ahead for Florida.

"I'm excited about the nucleus of guys coming back. Hopefully (Erik) Murphy can make a huge jump and become a much better player."

Murphy played just 11 minutes in his first NCAA tournament game, but he felt that was still a positive sign going forward.

"Being a freshman, it was good a experience just being here. It was good experience for me."

Like Murphy, Vernon Macklin was in his first season as a member of the Gators on the court, but the Georgetown transfer will be a senior next season. He expects the core of the team to return and continue to improve together.

"We're going to be a great team next year with everybody coming back."

Florida has two touted recruits already signed to add to next year's team, but Donovan made it clear he's looking for more help.

"I've got to do a better job providing a little bit more depth to our team. That's definitely something we need. We need depth in our backcourt and another body in our frontcourt."

The spring signing period for basketball opens April 14.

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