Florida basketball schedule announced for 2015 Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament

For two years, the Florida Gators have been reported to be a participant in the upcoming 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. On Tuesday, their participation was made official when the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame officially announced the event’s schedule.

The Tip-Off Tournament includes on-campus and bracketed games. Florida joins Old Dominion, Purdue and Saint Joseph’s in the Naismith Bracket, while Buffalo, Niagara, North Carolina A&T and Vermont make up the Springfield Bracket.

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FOUR BITS: Parsons, Hill, Tebow, Beal, Speights

1 » All indications are that the news on Chandler Parsons’s knee injury is going to get worse before it gets better. According to ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon, the Dallas Mavericks fear their forward will need microfracture surgery, a procedure that would keep Parsons on the bench through the start of the 2015-16 season. Doctors will investigate the severity of Parsons’s injury with a scope once the swelling goes down; the hope is that he has simply damaged his cartilage, which could be repaired with less-invasive arthroscopic surgery. Parsons will enter the second season of a three-year, $46 million deal in 2015-16, and he serves as a building block for a Mavericks team hoping to turn things around with a younger roster next year.

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Eli Carter to transfer from Florida Gators

Eli Carter, a guard transfer from Rutgers who was made eligible immediately and played one full season with the Florida Gators, will transfer for the second time in his college career, a source close to the program confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Monday.

“I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had here at Florida,” Carter said in a statement released by the school. “I’ll always appreciate the coaches, teammates and fans that made my time here memorable.”

CBSSports.com‘s Jon Rothstein first reported Carter’s move, noting that the player will be immediately eligible in 2015-16 as he will earn his undergraduate degree. The Gators confirmed it later in the day.

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Florida Gators basketball to open 2015-16 season against Navy in 2015 Veterans Classic

For the first time in 15 years, Florida Gators basketball will open a season on the road when it takes on the Navy Midshipmen in the 2015 Veterans Classic at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Florida and Navy will square off in the second game of the event, which is being held at the U.S. Naval Academy base. Game one features North Carolina and Temple going head-to-head at 7 p.m.

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Florida coach Billy Donovan remains silent as Oklahoma City Thunder speculation grows

Aside from wishing Chris Walker well in a short written statement released by the team on Friday, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has remained silent as speculation surrounding him leaving college for the NBA grows stronger by the day.

Minutes after the Oklahoma City Thunder fired head coach Scott Brooks, Donovan was listed by multiple reporters as general manager Sam Presti’s top choice to fill the role.

At the time, Donovan was on the road recruiting, which he continued doing until he returned to Gainesville, Florida, on Friday. The break was short-lived, however, as Donovan hopped back on the school’s private jet that evening to travel to Lexington, Kentucky, and attend an AAU basketball showcase featuring some of the top prospects in the nation.

While all this was going on, the drum beat got louder for Donovan to head to OKC.

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Florida’s Chris Walker declares for NBA Draft

Sophomore center Chris Walker, a highly-touted five-star prospect who struggled to make an impact in two years with the Florida Gators, has decided to leave the team to try his hand at becoming a professional basketball player.

Walker has officially declared for the 2015 NBA Draft, joining junior guard Michael Frazier II, who left the program weeks ago. Walker’s declaration comes two days before the NBA’s Sunday draft declaration deadline.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Parsons, Jackson, Easley

1 » Philadelphia Eagles vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz spoke with the media on Thursday and provided some perspective on the team’s decision to sign former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. “We worked him out and we saw improvement from the last time we saw him,” he said. “[We] had exposure to him live when we played New England when they practiced here. When we worked him out, we saw a great deal of improvement in him.” Ultimately, the Eagles decided “that it was an opportunity to bring in somebody who could compete for a spot,” and all indications are that Tebow will get that chance, a legitimate one at that – unlike some of his other stops..

2 » Forward Chandler Parsons, in his first year with the Dallas Mavericks, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering what appears to be a serious right knee injury. Parsons, who was averaging 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per game for Dallas, was a full-season starter for the Mavericks and the team’s key free agent signing in the offseason. The Houston Rockets, Parsons’s former team, leads the Mavericks 2-0 in their first-round series. Fellow former Florida F Corey Brewer is averaging 15.0 points in 26.5 minutes per game for Houston thus far in the series. He’s shooting .500 from the field and .571 from beyond the arc.

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Report: Chris Walker not expected back at Florida

Florida Gators sophomore center Chris Walker, a highly-touted five-star prospect that has struggled to make an impact in the college ranks, is not expected to return to the team next season, multiple sources told Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels.

According to Daniels, Walker has not decided whether to transfer to another program or play professionally, but the end result will be the termination of his career at Florida.

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