Any ‘most-improved’ list needs to have Florida’s Boynton

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There’s no shortage of vastly improved college basketball players. Yes, Syracuse’s Fab Melo, Kansas’ Jeff Withey and Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng usually grab most of the attention because of their teams’ profiles, but as Dan Hanner notes here, sometimes simply getting more playing time helps a player breakout.

San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin, Penn State’s Tim Frazier and Georgetown’s Henry Sims would be examples.

Or it’s a player who’s playing just as much, but simply playing better. Illinois’ Meyers Leonard and Memphis’ Will Barton are examples. (As is Franklin. That guy’s killing it!)

But here’s a question: In most of the chatter, Florida’s Kenny Boynton never pops up. Why?

Yes, he had just nine points in the Gators’ win Tuesday night, but that was a rare night off for him. Check this.

The 6-1 junior guard’s improved his scoring (14.2 to 17.5), has doubled his rebounding efforts and is shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc, an absurd jump (last year he was 33 percent; as a freshman, 29 percent), while playing nearly as many minutes as ever.

That’s why he’s scoring as efficiently as guys like Doug McDermott and Damian Lillard. If he was taking more shots – and using as many possessions as those two guys – he’s be a contender for first-team All-American.

At this rate, he may have to “settle” for third-team.

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