Florida Gators: Braxton Ogbueze

Florida gets commit from 2014 PG 

May, 14, 2013
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Prior to the spring, junior Chris Chiozza (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) was mentioned as a fringe Top 100 player. Following a series of standout performances, Chiozza’s stock soared. On Tuesday, he accepted an offer from the Florida Gators to follow the point guard lineage in Gainesville.

Ohio State and Memphis provided the most competition for the 2014 defensive guard with a passing bend. Chiozza averaged 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds as a junior.

Florida, which scouted Chiozza extensively in April, offered, and the guard didn’t mull it over too long before calling his recruitment off.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida basketball program has lost another player.

Coach Billy Donovan announced Monday that freshman guard/forward DeVon Walker has been granted his release and will be transferring.

"DeVon has a bright future, and we hope for the best for him wherever he chooses to go," Donovan said in a statement.

The 6-foot-6 Walker played in 25 games and scored 20 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked four shots.

He is the second freshman to transfer. Point guard Braxton Ogbueze, who played in only 23 games and scored only 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had seven assists, announced he was leaving last week.

GatorNation week in review 

May, 4, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- We are firmly into the college football offseason, but there's still plenty of Gators news ....

Florida nearly tied the school record for most players drafted in a seven-round format. The Gators had eight players selected -- including DTSharrif Floyd (Minnesota) and S Matt Elam (Baltimore) in the first round -- in last weekend's NFL draft. Miami selected three former Gators: LB Jelani Jenkins, RB Mike Gillislee and K Caleb Sturgis. You can find GatorNation's breakdown of UF's draftees here.

Having eight players drafted is more than a confirmation of last season's 11-2 record. It's also a big recruiting tool, and UF coach Will Muschamp hopes to use it to his advantage.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- One day after gaining a player, the Florida basketball program lost one.

B. Ogbueze
B. Ogbueze
UF coach Billy Donovan announced Wednesday that freshman point guard Braxton Ogbueze will transfer. Ogbueze played in only 23 games and scored only 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and had seven assists in 2012-13.

"I’ve appreciated the opportunity here at Florida and have learned a lot that will help me in the future," Ogbueze said in a statement.

The 6-foot, 182-pound Ogbueze was a four-star recruit and the No. 94 overall player in the 2012 ESPN 100. He was the country’s No. 7 point guard.

On Tuesday the Gators added Rutgers transfer Eli Carter. The 6-2 Carter led the Scarlet Knights in scoring in 2012-13 (14.8 points per game) while shooting 38.4 percent from the floor and 32.0 percent from 3-point range.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan's decision to suspend PG Scottie Wilbekin indefinitely means the job of directing the Gators' offense will fall to senior Kenny Boynton.

Boynton has run the point in spurts through the past three seasons, mainly in relief of starting PG Erving Walker, who graduated as the school's all-time assist leader. Boynton, who is on pace to become the school's all-time leading scorer, is the Gators' top man defender, so his role there won't change.

The bigger issue for Donovan is finding someone to replace the 6-foot-2 Wilbekin in the starting lineup for Friday's season opener against Georgetown and to relieve Boynton when he's on the bench. Donovan could slide 6-3 Mike Rosario into the shooting guard spot to go along with 6-9 C Patric Young, 6-10 F Erik Murphy and 6-7 F Will Yeguete.

Or Donovan could go with 6-6 freshman Michael Frazier, who scored 21 points in UF's exhibition victory over Nebraska-Kearney. Even if Rosario starts, Wilbekin's suspension will mean more playing time for Frazier and two other freshmen: 6-4 Dillon Graham and 6-0 Braxton Ogbueze. The Gators cannot use 6-6 G/F Casey Prather on Friday because he is out with a concussion.

"This throws a wrench," Donovan said. "We've got to do some things in practice to make some adjustments going into this game.

"The biggest thing for me as a coach is how do I get these guys to understand what they're doing because there's going to be a lot of different lineups on the floor."

Donovan has a track record of successfully juggling lineups. He got the Gators to the Elite Eight last season after losing Yeguete -- the Gators' top post defender and key cog in their press -- to a broken foot in February.

Gators solve scholarship problem

October, 10, 2012
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Patric YoungChristian Petersen/Getty ImagesFlorida junior center Patric Young is feeling good now after missing three weeks due to mononucleosis.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida’s basketball scholarship problem resolved itself over the summer after coach Billy Donovan decided not to renew redshirt sophomore Cody Larson’s scholarship because Larson failed to meet requirements that Donovan set throughout the season and during the offseason.

"There were some things I wanted him to do during the course of the year [and] he knew there was a possibility [that if] he didn’t do these things there was a chance he may not be back and he came up short on those things," Donovan said Wednesday during the team’s annual media day. "I’ve been through some different situations with Cody in trying to help him get better on the court, off the court, in the classroom, and taking care of responsibilities, and it was something he was not doing."

Donovan said he spoke with Larson and his family and said Larson was welcome to return as a nonscholarship player or the coach would approve a transfer. The 6-foot-9, 239-pound Larson, who averaged 0.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in 25 games last season, decided to come back.

"The decision to stay wasn’t hard at all," Larson said. "I know I wanted to stay under Coach Donovan. Not even talking basketball, just being under Coach Donovan is the best thing for me in my life."

UF had to lose one scholarship for this season anyway because the Gators had exceeded the NCAA maximum of 13. Florida signed freshmen Michael Frazier II, Dillon Graham, Braxton Ogbueze and DeVon Walker, and added transfers Dorian Finney-Smith and Damontre Harris.

Young healthy again
Center Patric Young says he has fully recovered from a bout of mononucleosis that kept him out of action for three weeks.

"It was tough at first," Young said. "We had our conditioning test this past Tuesday and I passed all the runs, made my times, so I’ll be ready for practice come tomorrow."

Young was diagnosed when classes began in August. He had a severe sore throat, a fever, and was too fatigued to participate in a scheduled workout. After a trip to a doctor, he was diagnosed with mono. He missed three weeks, and Young said it was pretty rough at times.

The 6-9, 249-pound junior said his roommate, teammate Will Yeguete, was worried.

"He said I was looking miserable," Young joked. "He thought I was on my deathbed for a little bit."
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida signed wing prospect DeVon Walker (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven H.S.) on Friday, quickly filling the scholarship of Bradley Beal, who departs for the NBA.

"[Beal] had an amazing, amazing impact on the program and the team, so I wouldn't mind copying him," Walker said just after signing his letter of intent during a ceremony at his school.

As he assisted Beal in assessing his draft stock, UF coach Billy Donovan made a late push for Walker, a well-rounded swingman who averaged 23.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists as a senior.

"He came a little bit harder towards the end when it got closer to signing," Walker said. "Coach Donovan said Brad was in the process of deciding to go to the league. But before Brad had even decided, [Donovan] had already told me I had a scholarship and everything was good. So I don't really think it came down to Brad leaving."

Walker, who has grown to 6-foot-6 1/2, 187 pounds and can play shooting guard and small forward, was at one point committed to Central Florida. He chose the Gators over Alabama, Florida State and Connecticut.

"It came down to Alabama and Florida, and I really loved both programs," Walker said. "Coach [Anthony] Grant at Alabama, he has something special going on. I feel that their program is one of the best programs in the country, and Florida is also.

"My decision came down to just being closer to home and being able to have my family come to a lot of games, being comfortable at UF's campus, because I've been up there the most times."

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The AggreGator: Basketball rankings

January, 24, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- We've got a whole lot of rankin' going on. We'll start with future Gators before leaping back to the present tense for the current Florida squad.

Class of 2012 updated ESPNU 100
Florida only has one player in our top 100, point guard Braxton Ogbueze, who fell from No. 35 to No. 46 in our latest rankings. The big man on the board is Florida's top target, power forward Anthony Bennett, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation.

Class Rankings: Arizona on top, Gators in the mix (Insider)
Florida checks in at No. 25 with Ogbueze and a pair of shooting guards from in-state in Michael Frazier and Dillon Graham. Look for a big surge if Billy D gets that big man he's after.

Bilas Index: Kentucky claims No. 1 (Insider)
ESPN Insider Jay Bilas has Week 6 of the Bilas Index, ranking the top 68 college basketball teams in the country. This week, he hasn't changed his thoughts on the Gators too much, noting how UF is having success without a whole lot of size.

(Read full post)

The AggreGator: Basketball bounces

January, 1, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When a top-10 team loses to an unranked team, the aftermath isn't pretty. That's what happened when Florida played poorly on offense and defense and fell to an inspired Rutgers team last Thursday night.

Right after the game, talented freshman Bradley Beal lamented his poor performance. He tweeted: "Cant even eat im so mad !"

ESPN.com's Power Rankings
Florida takes a tumble.

Podcast: Brennan/O’Neil
Eamonn Brennan and Dana O’Neil react to some big upsets by Rutgers and Vanderbilt. On the surprise-o-meter, they say a good win for Rutgers merits a 10 on the meter.

Bilas Index: Buckeyes still in top five (Insider)
In his weekly top 68, Jay says the Gators are still pretty good.

In Week 3 of the Bilas Index,

On the flip side, Billy Donovan has now got Florida recruiting cranked up to high gear ...

Recapping top performances from top players (Insider)
No. 35 Braxton Ogbueze, PG The Florida-bound guard had an offensive explosion.
No. 93 Michael Frazier, SG The Gator commit had steady performances with offense and rebounding in two tournaments.

Also, Frazier's teammate, junior point guard Kasey Hill, followed suit and committed to the Gators on Saturday. Hill is one of the top prospects in the class of 2013.

UF basketball signs three 

December, 5, 2011
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's deepest position just got deeper on Monday when coach Billy Donovan announced the signing of three guards for the 2012-13 season.

Michael Frazier (6-foot-4, 180 pounds), Dillon Graham (6-4, 175) and Braxton Ogbueze (6-1, 185) will join a backcourt that will bring back at least four players in Mike Rosario, Kenny Boynton, Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather. Bradley Beal could potentially leave for the NBA after this season.

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Florida AD Jeremy Foley joins Finebaum
Florida Athletics Director Jeremy Foley called into The Paul Finebaum Show to discuss the Florida football program, including their new coach.
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Saturday, 12/20
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