The old adage that the college game starts with the guards is true, but to win a championship you need strong frontcourt play. Having a low-post presence that draws a double-team puts tremendous pressure on the defense. If he's complemented by a versatile power forward or "stretch 4" who can run, score in the trail spot in transition and play in ball screens, it gives a coach great flexibility.
In evaluating the best frontcourts in college basketball, I took into account not just the individual players' potential and accomplishments, but just as importantly how the frontcourt players complement each other. In today's game, your big men must have the ability to affect the game on both ends. Elite frontcourt players can defend, are active, alert off the ball and can defend ball screens.
The Gators have a deep and versatile frontcourt. They are led by one of the most physical and experienced big men in the country in Patric Young. He's a tremendous rim runner, has the ability to score on the block and is an excellent ball-screen player both offensively and defensively. He is joined up front by fellow senior Will Yeguete, a blue collar power forward who, despite being undersized, is extremely efficient. Casey Prather is an active athlete who gave the Gators quality minutes at the end of last season.
Two transfers make the Florida frontcourt elite. Dorian Finney-Smith, a Virginia Tech transfer, has a unique skill set. At 6-foot-9, he has a floor game, is an instinctive rebounder (7 rebounds a game) and his length will make him an excellent defender in the Florida full court pressure, half court man and zone.
South Carolina transfer Damontre Harris is a 6-foot-9, 227 pound shot blocker who rebounds basketballs out of his area. He will be excellent in the Florida defensive system. The X factor for the Gators' frontcourt is 6-foot-10 Chris Walker (ESPN RecruitingNation's No. 12 recruit in 2014). Walker has the skill set of a small forward and can run the floor as well as any big in his class. Walker has not yet been cleared to play by the NCAA.