Franz Beard’s Basketball Confidential

With the commitment of Ray Shipman, Florida’s recruiting board clears up somewhat. At a minimum, the Gators will sign three — Erving Walker, Shipman and one big, likely Kenny Kadji (6-10, 250). However, with the uncertainty of Brandon Powell and the possibility of some form of attrition, the expectation is that Florida goes for four in the recruiting class of 2008.

Shipman addresses the need of an athletic, versatile wing that can play both wings, run the baseline or play the point for limited minutes. His basketball IQ is off the charts, too, so it gives the Gators another smart, coachable player. I know the Florida coaches were just blown away with his camp performance and they felt why keep shopping for wings when you’ve got everything you need right here in the state?

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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.