Franz Beard’s Basketball Confidential

Basketball practice has finally begun for the Florida Gators and now Coach Billy Donovan and his staff get to find out how to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. The Florida staff really likes that there are so many multi-positional players. If there is a way for the Gators to compensate for a lack of a post presence other than Marreese Speights the answer might come in the form of creating mismatches all over the floor that force opponents into odd lineups.

This might be the best shooting team that Billy Donovan has ever had. Certainly, it’s the best since 2000 when the Gators had sharpshooters like Mike Miller, Teddy Dupay, Brett Nelson, Kenyan Weaks and Matt Bonner. This team has legitimate three-point shooters in Walter Hodge, Dan Werner, Nick Calathes, Chandler Parsons, Jai Lucas and Adam Allen.

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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.