Franz Beard’s Hoops Confidential

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Now that Vernon Macklin has transferred from Georgetown to Florida, the Gators will have to re-evaluate their recruiting priorities for 2009, the year that Macklin becomes eligible after sitting the mandatory year required by the NCAA. With Macklin (6-9, 230) and 2009 commit Erik Murphy (6-11, 220, Southborough, MA St. Mark’s School) adding to an already impressive roster of bigs, the Gators are likely to be focus in on pure points or combo guards that are as comfortable on the wing as they are the point.

With the transfer of Jonathan Mitchell and Marreese Speights going to the NBA, the Gators will have 13 on the scholarship roster for 2008-09 although only 12 will suit up for games. Walter Hodge will graduate and that opens up the scholarship for Murphy in 2009. Figure there will be attrition of some sorts — transfer or early entry to the NBA — and at least one more spot will open up for 2009. No one would be surprised if an additional spot opens up, however, meaning that the Gators could end up with three freshman recruits for 2009.

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Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.