The Gators have already lost Michael Frazier and Chris Walker from a team that went 16-17. Now they’re losing another piece.
Eli Carter, who transferred to Florida from Rutgers two years ago, is transferring out of the Gator program. He will be eligible to play right away because he will graduate from UF in May.
I can’t really bring myself to shed a tear about losing Carter, because all the Gators lose is the ability to gleefully scream “THREELI CARTER,” something that’s more cool than useful. He came to UF with sky high expectations that never translated into success on the court; in his one full year, Carter averaged 8.8 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. More important than the minimal production Florida will lose out of Carter is that his departure the latest bit of foreshadowing that Billy Donovan may be gone- which we all know would be a much bigger loss.
Frazier, Walker and now Carter leaving have to at least throw up a red flag. It seems that they all know something the general public doesn’t know, and what else could they know that would make them all want to flee like this? No college kid wants to get recruited by a top notch coach at a premiere basketball school (even if UF is the #EverythingSchool), play for him for a year or two and then watch him leave just so he can start all over with a new coach. Now enter the report from Scout that says that Donovan would take the Oklahoma City job if offered, and then remember that he just suffered his worst season as the Gators’ head coach since his first couple of years. I hate to speculate, but I can’t help it- it doesn’t look good.
I do think Carter will find success somewhere, and I wish him the best wherever he goes. I don’t think his departure is going to be the most devastating loss the Florida basketball program will suffer this offseason. But time shall tell.