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Friday September 27, 2013 ESPN.com Insiders: Gators nation's No. 5 program over next 3 seasons

Updated: 11:25am, September 27

Billy DGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The first basketballs of the 2013-14 season officially roll out two weeks from today -- Oct. 11 -- with the first men’s practice of the season.

Dates for the first practice of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons are undetermined.  

Say what?

Don’t worry. I’ll explain.

A group of talking heads and typing hands at ESPN.com college basketball “Insiders” got together for a project they dubbed the “Future Power Rankings” that assess which programs are best positioned for success over the next three seasons.

Billy Donovan (pictured right) and the Gators checked in at No. 5, behind a quartet of basketball blue bloods in Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Louisville.

The panel -- made up of Paul Biancardi, Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla, John Gasaway, Jeff Goodman, Seth Greenberg, Andy Katz and Miles Simon -- rated each program on a scale from 1-to-10 in five categories to arrive at their ratings.

Those categories:

* Coaching (25 percent), which took into considering the assistants staff, but put the most emphasis on the head coach. Gators: 9.5
* Current Talent (25 percent). Gators: 9.1
* Recruiting (25 percent), which examined the projected quality of the 2014 and ’15 recruiting classes and momentum. Gators: 9.1
* Program Power (15 percent), which included internal and external support, facilities, resources and tradition. Gators: 9.1
* Stability (10 percent), as in potential roster and coaching staff turnover. Gators: 8.9

Florida’s rating was 92.31.

Will Y Here are a couple sample quotes from the UF evaluation:

“What's quietly most impressive is that Billy Donovan has the Gators this high despite the fact that Florida is clearly a football school,” Goodman wrote in the “Why they’re here” analysis. “Donovan is one of the top coaches (he checks in fourth on the list), having won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007 and gone to the Elite Eight each of the past three seasons. The Gators are extremely deep this season and should be in the mix to go far in the tournament again. The future will be bright because Donovan is a relentless recruiter who gets results, and he's done it lately primarily with four-year players.

Katz checked in on “What could change” with the program: “The Gators have had a few years where they have missed in evaluations of recruits, and it took Donovan two years to get the Gators back to elite status after the consecutive national titles. Donovan is headed toward the Hall of Fame, but Florida still has to outwork a number of its competitors on the trail. If the Gators fail to make the right selections, there is a chance things could go sideways for a season or two.”

In case you were wondering about the entire ranked field, here you go:

1) Duke 95.19; 2) Kentucky 94.88; 3) Kansas 94.31; 4) Louisville 93.44; 5) Florida 92.31; 6) Michigan State 89.81; 7) Arizona 89.31; 8) Syracuse 88.44; 9) North Carolina 88.13; 10) Ohio State 84.13.

The rest of the top 25 looked like this: Michigan, Gonzaga, Indiana, Wisconsin, Georgetown, VCU, Oregon, Maryland, Marquette, Notre Dame, Memphis, Wichita State, UCLA, Virginia and Iowa State.

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