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Thursday October 17, 2013 USA Today Coaches' Poll has higher opinion of Gators than Doug Gottlieb

Updated: 8:57pm, October 17

Gottlieb GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida basketball team checked in at No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll released Thursday.

Hey, that’s better than where CBS analyst Doug Gottlieb put the Gators. CBS had its six college basketball experts pick their top 25. Five of them had Florida no worse than 12th.

Gottlieb had the Gators unranked.

Check out for yourselves here.

[Note: Earlier today, the above link was disabled. I thought maybe Gottlieb realized he'd made a mistake, but it's also possible the site was crashed by irate Kentucky fans who wanted Gottlieb drawn and quartered for ranking the Wildcats -- armed with a freshman class some recruiting experts are calling the best ever -- all the way down at No. 7.]

Kentucky is the USA Today poll’s choice at No. 1 with 767 votes, out-pointing Michigan State (749) by 18 votes. The Wildcats are the first team in the history of the coaches' poll to start a season No. 1 after being unranked the previous year. UK, which debuted at No. 4 a year ago, did not make the NCAA Tournament, then lost in the first round of the NIT at Robert Morris.

No other Southeastern Conference team made the coaches' Top 25, though Tennessee (73), Missouri (4), LSU (2) and Georgia (1) received votes.  

The Gators, of course, advanced to the Elite Eight for the third straight year in 2013 -- the only program in the nation to do so -- but were destroyed by Michigan in the NCAA South Region final at Arlington, Texas.

UF said goodbye to its three leading scorers (Mike Rosario, Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy), but returns the next five from the rotation (center Patric Young, guard Scottie Wilbekin, wing Casey Prather, forward Will Yeguete and shooting guard Mike Frazier) and adds a trio of transfers (forward Dorian Finney-Smith, center Damontre Harris and guard Eli Carter), plus a decorated freshman point guard (Kasey Hill).

Illnesses, injuries and suspensions will impact the Gators early in the season, but this team could potentially blossom later in the year as it finds its chemistry. It may even add a player in McDonald’s All-America forward Chris Walker, who is looking to become academically eligible for the second semester. 

These issues (and plenty more from the league’s 13 other teams) were kicked around at Southeastern Conference Media Days in Birmingham the last couple days. Here are some hits from Thursday morning’s session, which featured the Coach Billy Donovan, courtesy of Twitter.

 

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