Beal, Boynton still mulling futures with Gators

By Adam Silverstein
March 29, 2012

There was a grave concern at one point that the Florida Gators could lose as many as five players following the 2011-12 season as freshman guard Bradley Beal and sophomore center Patric Young flashed NBA potential, senior point guard Erving Walker was set to graduate and many believed junior guards Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario were questioning whether or not to remain with the team.

That number has already dwindled down to a maximum of three as Young and Rosario have both expressed their intention to remain in school at least one more year. Young will be a junior in 2012-13 and Rosario will play his second year in orange and blue before hopefully graduating as a redshirt senior.

However, the future of the other two players remains up in the air as Beal and Boynton have yet to officially decide on the path they will take in their respective careers.

According to The Gainesville Sun‘s Kevin Brockway, Boynton may be near a decision that will put a smile on the faces of Florida fans. “Boynton’s father, Kenny Boynton Sr., said he expects his son to return for his senior season,” Brockway wrote on Thursday.

NBA scouts do not consider Boynton to be talented enough to select in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft due to the fact that he remains somewhat inconsistent with his shot (even after taking a huge step forward last season), is not proficient enough at driving to the hoop and is undersized for a shooting guard yet does not have the proper handle or experience to run the point. Should he decide to leave school, chances are Boynton would wind up playing somewhere overseas.

Beal, on the other hand, is a consensus top-10 pick who is expected by most analysts to be one of the first five players selected in the draft. He has been ranked as high as No. 3 overall and could certainly go that high depending on the needs of the teams selecting in the top potion of the first round.

That does not mean his path is necessarily leading him away from Gainesville, FL.

“I know it’s going to be a hard decision for him,” Bobby Beal, Bradley’s father, told Brockway on Thursday. “Some people say [leaving] is a no-brainer, but I know that he loves college, loves the atmosphere down there.”

There are two other factors in addition to loving college that could lead him back to Florida. He was reportedly extremely disappointed that the Gators did not reach the Final Four (seeing the goal as unfinished business) and remains close friends with Young, who has already decided to return and continue his Florida career.

The Sun reports that Beal is currently on his way back to his hometown of St. Louis, MO to see his family and begin discussions about what to do with his future. Where he would be selected in the draft is likely of little concern to Beal as there is no chance he would fall out of the lottery and a slim chance he would even make it past No. 5 overall.

With the decision deadline of Tuesday, April 10 rapidly approaching, expect Beal to announce where he will ctoninue his playing career sooner than later.


  1. Courtney says:

    If beal comes back go ahead and write us into the final 4.

    • Joe says:

      I see where you’re coming from but nothing is written in stone! At any rate, our team would be one year wiser, bolder and better and would probably have a great showing in the tourney. The truth is it’s hard not to love these guys and the heart they showed.

  2. Averagegatorguy says:

    Come back Bradley for one more year!

  3. g8ter27 says:

    I agree. Boyton coming back is a no brainer, he could have played in Italy last year if he wanted to. Beal is certain to be a first rounder…top five is a bit of a stretch for me as I would (if I was an NBA gm) take a couple of KT players over him and then there is the rest of the country, make no mistake, he is the real deal, just not sure about top 3 or 4.

    • CH says:

      I agree with this – I’m by no means a NBA scout, but I can think of half a dozen kids off the top of my head that would go ahead of Beal and thats without research. This is predicted to be one of the deepest drafts in recent history and now with all those UNC players jumping in, it just got deeper. Beal is a first round pick – no doubt – and I obviously want him wearing blue and orange next year like the rest of us, but I hope someone is giving him better information than Top 5.

  4. zurbo says:

    I love beal, but he needs to go to the NBA if he is a top 5 pick. It would just be a smart move on his behalf.

    • Gator John says:

      I agree. He knows where his stock is this year. Next year it could be better.,..or worse, depending on how other players perform around the country. Kids like Beal are not going to college for the education anyway. They can get that anytime. They go to help cement an NBA future. Beal has done that. I would love to have him back, but I just don’t see it.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        people said the same thing about Horford and Noah, they came back anyway and we set a record for having 3 players picked in the top 9 the following year. Beal has consistently said all along he loves the college experience, that he wasn’t planning on being one and done.

        I hope come April 11 I’ll be able to say “I told you so” when he chooses to come back for another year, because unless he is pushed to grab for the bucks, all of his actions from recruitment through his most recent comments have indicated that he is leaning toward staying.

  5. Tractorr says:

    With another year of college Beal could be the number 1 pick.

    • NYC Gator says:

      I doubt he’ll ever do better than Top 5. He’s somewhat undersized considering shooting guards are typically 6’6″ or taller, though he might be an ideal candidate to transition over to the point, like Russell Westbrook did.

  6. SpikE says:

    It will all come down to if Beal wants to continue going to classes and being a college student vs the fame, money, etc of the nba this year or next. Sure fire top 10 pick either year. Some people love college. Some don’t.

  7. ALkjfalkjsf says:

    Can’t believe people are saying Beal isn’t a top-5 pick up there. He is the most complete 2 guard in college, and if he gets past the 3rd or 4th pick in the draft, it’d be a shock. At worst, he’s Eric Gordon. AT WORST. So this guy is almost a can’t-miss, and he’s going to leave. We all might as well face the facts now.

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