Getting Ready to Contribute

A quick look at Georgia's projected depth in the frontcourt next season shows the Bulldogs will be young and inexperienced. Will JUCO center John Florveus be ready to contribute?

With current seniors Chris Barnes and Jeremy Price exhausting eligibility after this year—and the chance junior Trey Thompkins could elect to turn pro—Georgia's depth down low will be thin.

Coach Mark Fox signed junior college seven-footer John Florveus to help combat the lack of big men.

"I don't know much about the other players and don't know much about coach Fox's plans for him, but John's a worker," said Hillborough CC head coach Byron Samuels. "He's a smart kid. I know he's a fighter. I think I could see him working his way into the rotation next season. I think he's going to work toward contributing."

Florveus is currently averaging 12.5 points a game, Samuels said, adding, "seven or eight rebounds a game and 2.5 blocks."

"John Florveus is an extremely long athlete out of Florida; a quick jumping athlete with long arms," Fox said. "We just saw so many physical attributes in him that we liked, and anticipating that we're going to need some help up front if Trey leaves. We wanted to get an older, more mature player, so we went the junior college route there."

This season has seen a change in Florveus' role at Hillborough. He's now a focal point; an integral component to his team, according to Samuels.

"He's in a new spot for him in that he's gotten an awful lot of attention in every game that we play," Samuels said. He's not a whiner or a complainer though. He wants to continue to work and he wants to get better."

At the moment, Florvus has struggled with foul trouble in games.

"Some of that is his fault and some of it is to his credit," Samuels said. "I think he's challenged himself to be more aggressive out there. He's trying to impact games more."

Regardless of his current situation, the need to be ready early once Florveus gets to Georgia is a glaring truth. Should Thompkins bolt early, only freshman Donte Williams and Conner Nolte will remain down low.

The challenge will fall on incoming freshman Tim Dixon and Florveus, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, to come in ready to contribute.

"That can be good for a kid like John because it's hard to get better if you don't get tested," Samuels said. "If you get thrown into the fire, one of two things will happen. You're either going to rise to the occasion or you're going to get burned. Either way, you can't improve if you're not getting the chance to play. Sounds like he may get that chance… He still has a ways to go. I don't want to misread the situation. He still needs to add weight and get stronger. He's working on both right now."

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