Since the NCAA Tournament kicks off this week, I thought it might be neat to look back at each player’s performance in the tournament and post a few highlights. Here’s how the 12 Gators in the NBA fared, with some NCAA Tournament moments of zen:
Bradley Beal (2011-2012), Washington Wizards
NCAA Tournament: Beal was only the second one-and-done player Billy Donovan has ever had, so he only had one tournament experience. It happened to be the beginning of Florida’s run of three straight Elite 8s. Beal had a pretty good tournament, with his best game against Marquette in the Sweet 16. He had 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks in the win.
NBA Action: Beal averaged 18 points, 3.5 assists, and two rebounds over four games this past week. He did injure his ankle Saturday, but did not miss any time.
Matt Bonner (1999-2003), San Antonio Spurs
NCAA Tournament: Bonner went to the tournament every year, going 11-3 in the process. He was on the 2000 Final Four and national runner-up team as a freshman and shot 59.1% from the field during the tournament. Bonner averaged 6.5 points during NCAA play, hitting some memorable shots along the way.
NBA Action: Bonner finally got some playing time and made the most of it. In Friday’s win over the Lakers, he played 26 minutes, scoring 13 points with 10 rebounds and 4 assists. He played limited minutes in the other three games.
Corey Brewer (2004-2007), Minnesota Timberwolves
NCAA Tournament: Brewer obviously won two national championships, but he was also the 2007 Final Four Most Outstanding player after averaging 18 points and 5 rebounds. He was also a member of the 2006 Final Four All-Tournament team after averaging 15 points and 6.5 rebounds. Video highlights here.
NBA Action: Brewer posted an average week, notching 8.3 points, 2.5 boards, and 1.3 assists over four games.
Nick Calathes (2007-2009), Memphis Grizzlies
NCAA Tournament: Calathes is one of the few Gators under Billy Donovan to not make it to the NCAA Tournament. He led Florida to two straight NIT appearances. Calathes did have Florida’s second triple-double in history during the NIT, putting up 11 points,and a career-high 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over Creighton as a freshman.
NBA Action: Calathes putting in good minutes off the bench and adding to his assist total. He’s averaging 6.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.7 helpers during three games this past week.
Mike Miller (1998-2000), Memphis Grizzlies
NCAA Tournament: I think this is all I need to say:
NBA Action: He’s not putting in the minutes he used to, but Miller is still effective. He averaged 4 points in 14.3 minutes. He hit 2-3 from beyond the arc.
Udonis Haslem (1998-2002), Miami Heat
NCAA Tournament: Haslem played in the 2000 Final Four and scored a UF-record 27 points in the championship game against Michigan State. He played in 12 tournament games, averaging 13 points and 5 rebounds while shooting over 60% from the floor.
NBA Action: Haslem actually started Wednesday against the Boston Celtics and proved he might still have something left in the tank. he had 14 points on 7-8 shooting with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 27 minutes.
Al Horford (2004-2007), Atlanta Hawks
NCAA Tournament: Horford was another of those back-to-back national champions. Remember that dunk and shimmy in 2007 (3:14 mark):
NBA Action: Horford is out for the rest of the year after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair his right pectoral muscle.
David Lee (2001-2005), Golden State Warriors
NCAA Tournament: Lee had pretty good success in limited tournament action. He was bounced in the First or Second Round in each of his four years at the school. He remains one of my favorite Gators and I contest he should be considered a part of the 2006 team.
NBA Action: Lee’s doing work in the NBA with a lot of success. He’s had double-double’s in his last two games, putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday and 22 and 12 Thursday. In four games, he averaged 18.5 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Marreese Speights (2006-2008), Golden State Warriors
NCAA Tournament: Speights was a freshman on the 2007 championship team and saw some good minutes, including time in the title game. His best game was the opening round against Jackson State when he had a career-high 16 points and six rebounds.
NBA Action: Speights got some playing time Tuesday, seeing 23 minutes and getting 13 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
Erik Murphy (2009-2013), Chicago Bulls
NCAA Tournament: Murphy was a big part of the current run of three straight Elite 8s. His best game was against Northwestern State where he scored 18 points and 8 boards in the Second Round of the tournament.
NBA Action: Murphy played two minutes, scoring two points. He did not play in the other three games the Bulls played.
Joakim Noah (2004-2007), Chicago Bulls
NCAA Tournament: I’m not sure there’s a better NCAA Tournament representative then Noah. He dominated in tournament play, winning the MVP of the Final Four in 2006 and the MVP of the Minneapolis Region. He had a tournament record 29 blocks in those six games. But his best remembered moment? When he stood on the scorers table and did the Gator Chomp to the student section in Indianapolis.
NBA Action: Double-doubles seem to be the norm for Noah. He had three in four games this past week and narrowly missed out on the fourth. Noah continues to fill up the stat sheet, averaging 14.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8 assists, 2.5 blocks and 2 steals in four games.
Chandler Parsons (2007-2011), Houston Rockets
NCAA Tournament: Parsons made the tournament two out of four years and performed well. His NCAA Tournament career average of 11.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists make him the only player since 1996-97 to average at least 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a minimum of five games.
NBA Action: Parsons was in a mini-slump for three of the four games he played this past week. He finally broke out Thursday with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in a win against the Timberwolves. Although his scoring and rebounding hasn’t been up to par, he’s still dishing the ball well, having at least 5 dimes in the past three games.
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