FOUR BITS: Pouncey, schedule, Knight, Horford

By Adam Silverstein
March 9, 2010

1 » Now that his brother has set a course for greener pastures in the NFL, Florida Gators junior guard/center Mike Pouncey will play without him next to him for the first time in years. Rather than feel a sense of longing, Pouncey sees this as an opportunity to take on a leadership role. “I’ve got to lead this team,” he told The Gainesville Sun. “I’ve got the most starts on the team – just gotta go out there and prove everybody day-by-day that we’re going to be a good team this year. […] It’s going to be weird [not having Maurkice there], but I’ve been with these guys on the offensive line for three or four years. I feel ike they’re all my brothers, so they’ll be there for me.”

2 » Though acquiring a tougher schedule was somewhat of a mandate by the Southeastern Conference, the Gators’ willingness to do so may very well be what separates their 2009-10 campaign from that of the last two seasons. “I don’t know if there’s any exact science, but certainly we’re really, really loaded up on our schedule competitively,” head coach Billy Donovan told The Sun. “What kind of dividends that pays for us remains to be seen.” While the opponents may have been tougher, Donovan believes his team is better than it has been since the Oh-Fours departed. ‘Probably a couple of years ago, we weren’t even in position to beat a Michigan State or a Florida State or go on the road and win some of the games that we’ve won,” he said. “This team has certainly played a much, much more difficult schedule and probably as difficult a schedule as we’ve played in quite some time.”

Two more BITS on recruit Brandon Knight and the Horfords…after the break!

3 » Though Florida has two four-star forwards committed for its 2010 basketball recruiting class, it continues to make a push for arguably the best player in the country in five-star guard Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL), who remains uncommitted. While the Gators are still in the hunt for Knight’s services, Florida is joined by Kentucky, Kansas, UConn and Miami (FL) Syracuse as members of his final five. Depending who you speak to, Knight is leaning to all five teams. The only thing that anyone is sure of is that he will make a decision soon as the late signing period begins on April 14.

4 » You can bet the Gators would love to have Atlanta Hawks forward/center Al Horford back in the Orange and Blue right now. But what about his brother, three-star power forward Jon Horford (Grand Ledge, MI)? The younger Horford, deciding between offers from Michigan and Providence, has not received an offer from Florida even though he is averaging 21 points and 13 rebounds per game. Needless to say, he is leaning toward the Wolverines. Interesting to say the least.

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