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Incoming Gator freshman ineligible for upcoming season

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Florida will need to wait a year before seeing 6-foot-11 recruit Gorjok Gak playing games for the Gators.

The NCAA ruled that the incoming freshman will be able to enroll at Florida this year and practice with the team, but will be ineligible for games this season, the school announced Tuesday.

Should he meet all his progress marks during his freshman year, he’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2017-18.

Gak’s eligibility issue centered on his playing games during his postgraduate year at Victory Rock Prep, according to his coach there.

“Following his graduate year from Australia, he was supposed to play from December to December,” Loren Jackson told the Gainesville Sun, “but instead played from December until the following May.”

Gak originally signed with Oklahoma State, but de-committed following Travis Ford’s firing in Stillwater this past spring. Gak averaged 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds last season at Victory Rock in Bradenton, Fla.

Florida went 21-15 last season under first-year coach Mike White.

Texas Tech adds Florida transfer

Florida State center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (21) fouls Florida guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. (Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun via AP)
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A former top-50 recruit is joining Chris Beard at Texas Tech.

Brandone Francis-Ramirez, is transferring from Florida to become a Red Raider, he announced Tuesday,

It was an inglorious two-year run for Francis-Ramirez in Gainesville as he was ineligible his freshman year for academic reasons and then averaged just 10.8 minutes per game as a sophomore under first-year coach Mike White, who took over the program when Billy Donovan jumped to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

Francis-Ramirez shot 20.2 percent from the floor and 16.9 percent from 3-point range in his limited action last season. While his collegiate track record has been sparse, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard was one of the most well-regarded players in the 2014 class, with Rivals ranking him 35th nationally and the likes of Cincinnati, Indiana and USC offering him.

Texas Tech gets a bit of a reclamation project with quite a bit of upside once Francis-Ramirez becomes eligible in 2017-18. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.

Hokies’ Hudson transferring to Florida

Virginia Tech's Jalen Hudson (23) drives between Wake Forest's Devin Thomas (2) and Cornelius Hudson (25) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Former Virginia Tech guard Jalen Hudson has found a new home.

Th3 6-foot-5 junior will join Mike White’s program at Florida, he announced Wednesday.

Hudson, who chose the Gators over Texas,  averaged 8.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per game last season for the Hokies. After sitting out the 2016-17 season, he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining in Gainesville.

“I think Florida gives me a great opportunity to perform at a high level,” Hudson told ESPN, “win at a high level and ultimately pursue my dreams in playing in the NBA.”

Hudson, who attended the same high school as LeBron James in Akron,  was pursued by the likes of Arkansas, Dayton and Georges Mason before ultimately signing with the Hokes as part of their 2014 class.

The Gators don’t have much in the way of experience on the wing, so Hudson will help fill the position. Florida has already brought graduate transfer Canyon Barry in for next year. The 6-foot-6 College of Charleston graduate averaged 19.7 points in 12 games before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the season.

Florida went 21-15 and won two games in the NIT in White’s first season replacing Billy Donovan.

No. 17 Miami races past Florida

Jim Larrañaga, Sheldon McClellan
Associated Press
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No. 17 Miami couldn’t get much going outside of their starting five, but a strong defensive effort and some good performances from Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez led the Hurricanes to a 66-55 win over Florida.

McClellan finished with 24 points and five rebounds while Rodriguez had 15 points to pace Miami. Despite battling some injury issues late in the first half and early in the second half, Miami big man Tonye Jekiri finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

Entering the game, Florida was the SEC’s leading rebounding team, but they got beaten on the glass, 42-to-31, as the Hurricanes were the aggressor on the interior for the entire game. Miami also held Florida to 38 percent (22-for-57) shooting and eight percent (1-for-12) 3-point shooting on the night as the Gators couldn’t figure out a consistent half-court offense.

John Egbunu led the Gators with 14 points and five rebounds while Dorian Finney-Smith had 12 points and Devin Robinson added 11 points.

Even though Miami didn’t get much outside of its starting five, this was a very positive win for the Hurricanes as their defense looked fantastic and McClellan and Rodriguez made enough plays to help them maintain consistent control. The Hurricanes got a lot out of their seniors in the home win and looked like a team that figured out that defense could win them games when offense wasn’t coming easy.

Iowa State, Miami part of 2016 AdvoCare Invitational field

Jim Larranaga
Associated Press
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Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.

Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.

Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.

Florida forward out 4-6 weeks with foot injury

Alex Murphy
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Florida will be without senior forward Alex Murphy for the first few weeks of the season as the school announced he’ll be out 4-to-6 weeks with a foot injury.

The fifth-year senior has a partial tear to the plantar fascia of his right foot, an injury he suffered in the Gators’ exhibition win on Thursday night against Palm Beach Atlantic.

The injury likely puts Murphy out until at least December and could hold him out until SEC play begins. Without the experienced senior in the lineup, Florida could turn to junior DeVon Walker, sophomore Devin Robinson, junior Justin Leon. Two freshmen, Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone, could also get more minutes with Murphy being out.

As a junior, Murphy played in a little over 14 minutes per game and averaged 5.1 points and 2 rebounds per contest.