Ray Shipman transfers from Florida basketball

By Adam Silverstein
March 24, 2010

Early Wednesday, The Gainesville Sun heard from Ray Shipman, Sr., father of Florida Gators sophomore guard Ray Shipman, who verified the widely held belief that his son would be transferring to another school next season.

“He’s definitely outta there. I talked to him (Tuesday) morning and I just think there were some issues with playing time,” Shipman, Sr. said. “We feel like he can play somewhere at the major Division I level.”

Hours later, the University of Florida confirmed confirmed that Shipman will transfer.

“I have truly enjoyed coaching Ray the last two seasons,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s an outstanding person and a great student. I want to wish Ray the best of luck as he pursues the things that are important to him as a player and as a student.”

Shipman met with Donovan Wednesday in Gainesville, FL.

“I appreciate the opportunity that the University of Florida gave me,” Shipman said. “I want to thank Coach Donovan, the staff, and my teammates for the last two years and I wish the University of Florida the best in the future moving forward. I’m looking forward to making a decision to go somewhere with an opportunity for a bigger role.”

The Sun points out that, in addition to his struggles defensively, Shipman was a poor perimeter shooter and had a tendency to turn the ball over – factors that led to his lack of playing time even though the Gators had depth issues in the backcourt. He averaged 12.4 minutes per game this season while only contributing 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds.

In the last two years, Florida has seen five players (including Shipman) transfer: Jai Lucas (Texas), Jonathan Mitchell (Rutgers), Allan Chaney (Virginia Tech) and Eloy Vargas* (Miami Dade College). In all, the team has lost 14 scholarship players since winning the 2007 NCAA Championship.

*Vargas transferred due to academic issues.


  1. ReptilesRule says:

    Just saw the headline about in the Gainesville Sun. Right below the headline was an article from Pat Dooley about how lack of depth was the undoing of the BBall team in the NCAA tourney against BYU as it was during the season. Another setback. How many players have left this program in the last couple of years?? Five or six or so?? Well, you sure can’t build depth THAT way!!

  2. ReptilesRule says:

    I see we have backed off Knight, who was probably going to Kentucky anyway, and now we lose another guard. Last year, we go get a guard out of Isreal in desperation and the guy can’t even sniff the court! You can candy-coat this however you like…

  3. brlgator says:

    How come our program seems to get slammed by transfers? And the kids we lose arent exactly transfering and lighting it up. How can other top flight programs seem to avoid this problem

  4. Mitch says:

    This program is heading down the road to mediocrity. The flash of the 04’s is long gone. That was a magical coming together of players akin to the Beatles. No one expects that magic again, but we do expect a solid top 25 program that has stability for a $3.5 million coach. Something Coach Donovan is doing is not working. We dropped Knight, did coaches nose grow when he said that. You don’t drop the national player of the year, he drops you. Let’s see, Werner plays regularly, and we have a non top 25 year. Now shipman leaves. Do you think we would have been much worse if shipman played more and werner sat? The back to back does carry a lot of weight with me, but the current direction of the program seems lacking. We have to get Rivers. If he bails, then the wheels have fully come off.

  5. On Campus says:

    I guess all our hopes and dreams rely on Walker’s play next year, Tishman’s development, and counting down until Austin Rivers gets here (hopefully)….. our guard play is one of our most glaring weaknesses. Get a good guard, another big man to spell Macklin, and our team next year is looking pretty solid. Hopefully Billy doesn’t rethink that St. John’s job…

  6. On Campus says:

    ….Or the Oregon job I’m now reading.

  7. On Campus – we cover that here:

    Mitch- Shipman and Werner play different positions. The fact is that Donovan did not trust Shipman to play extended minutes in place of Walker and therefore did not have him do so. You seem to be indicating that Donovan was holding Shipman back to play Werner instead – that is not the case. While I agree that I would have liked to see more Shipman and less Walker (with Boynton running the point) [I said this on numerous occasions], that does not mean the coach (who watches these guys in practice and during games) believes Shipman deserved that extra time.

    In fact, if Donovan actually had another guard worth anything on the bench, Shipman may have been played even less! There is a reason he started to give McClanahan some minutes…

    As far as the thought that program might be better without Donovan – I’ll refrain from commenting on that topic as not to insult anyone. The sky is not falling.

  8. Mitch says:

    Adam – sky is not falling, but a certain morose has settled over this program. I recall part of the downfall of Lon Kruger after a final 4 appearance was not getting Vince Carter to UF. The Knight situation seems similar if not as dramatic at this point in the programs development. If Donovan cant recruit like Calapari, where you can lose 1 year players and reload immediately, then I still contend you dont pay that coach 3.5 mill. I’m sorry that is a lot of $$$ for the current status of this program. We could have run a 3 guard lineup with Shipman and not Werner, you really think we would have any worse with that line-up, I don’t. Interest in UF basketball has dropped of the charts nationally, and now is dropping off within the Gator Nation. Not a positive sign going forward. Exactly who is to blame for the huge drop off after the 04’s?

  9. I would agree with you that the Knight situation was similar IF:

    1) Kruger had won two National Championships and taken his team to three NCAA title games.
    2) Kruger had not already secured two five-star guards for his following year’s class (2011 – Austin Rivers, Bradley Beal)

    By the way, Kruger was 104-80 (56.5%) at Florida, only made the NCAAs twice (one Final Four), made the NIT twice and didn’t make a tournament the other two seasons.

    Donovan is 331-139 (70.4%) and has made a tournament 14 out of 15 seasons (11 NCAA, 3 NIT).

    Additionally, no coach in the country recruits the way Calapari does. So singling out Donovan for doing so is a bit ridiculous. On top of that, Calapari has made two Final Fours and has had both of them vacated – would you prefer him as your coach?

    I’m not here to argue with you – you are entitled to your opinion. But I’ve already explained Donovan’s contract to you. His salary is a reflection of what he has already done. It is a reward for the past as well as an incentive for the future. Like most contracts are. And if you choose to overlook the adversity this team has faced (best six players leaving for the draft one year, five transfers and two more players leaving for the pros earlier than expected), then you are simply ignoring facts and playing on the results.

    As much as you want Florida to be a traditional basketball powerhouse like Kentucky, Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina, etc. – it’s not. It is consistently one of the best teams in the SEC, and it breaks through with solid runs in the tournament every few seasons. Every program has its down years – even with great coaches. That doesn’t mean you go out and fire them without just cause.

    Now, if the team was bordering on .500 and struggling to attract any top recruits – that would be another story. But that is not the case.

  10. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Adam…thanks for pointing out the absurdity of comparing Billy with Kruger…I guess for some the sky is falling…if we get Rivers and just one more quality big and Murphy continues to improve this is a top 15 team easy.

  11. Bob says:

    Thanks Adam, for your good analysis of the Shipman/Werner debate. I was struggling to pull my thoughts together and you so succintly summarized my argument.

    One thing that’s getting missed here in the Knight situation is the strong possibliity that Knight will be a one-and-done player and Donovan’s decision to back off those kinds of guys after the string of early-weekend exits from the tourney right before the two title runs. Billy recognized that that wasn’t working (wish I could find the quote here) and recruited some A+ talent, but guys who’d stick around the program and mature some, instead of playing their obligatory one year and bolting for the NBA.

    This worked well with Horford, Noah (who was a MAJOR project as a frosh), and Brewer and appears to be working very well with Parsons and Tyus. I imagine Boynton will make a major jump next year too.

    The transfers have hurt to be sure, as have injuries to Kaddj and Allen, but I don’t think a single one of them has thrived elsewhere. I hate to lose Shipman as a body and a good kid, but he didn’t exactly live up to his billing.

    Like I’ve said before here, this year’s team was very fun to watch. Maddeningly inconsistent at times, lacking a true PG, slow starts, etc., but Parsons’s and Tyus’s growth alone was worth it for me, not to mention Macklin’s spurts and Boynton shining in two big tournament (SEC and NCAA) games at the end.

    Not to be a Pollyana, but I think the glass is more than half full and enjoy that the sun is ORANGE and the sky is BLUE.

  12. npgator says:

    Shipman was for all practical purposes a bust! He was Mr. Florida Basketball and he had a lot more turn overs than points.

  13. Mitch says:

    npgator – shipman was a bust but werner was a regular in the rotation. He was NJ Mr Basketball.

    Adam/Drew – not comparing Donovan to Kruger, just pointing out that after great success they have both seemed unable to sustain a high level, much of it failure to recruit prime targets in state. If Billy is paid on par with the power teams, we should be one too. Isn’t that what you pay people for.

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