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.