Ranking Four Potential Landing Spots For Florida Gators PG Andrew Nembhard
Is there ever a right time to say goodbye?
For the Florida basketball program, that question had to be answered in regard to its starting point guard, Andrew Nembhard, this past week. The former five-star recruit withdrew his name from the 2020 NBA Draft and returned to college basketball, but he did not return to Florida. The Ontario native simultaneously announced that he will return to college basketball but also transfer.
So, what are some potential landing spots for Nembhard?
The demand for the floor general's service is high. ESPN's Joe Borzello reported that multiple college basketball powers have already shown interest.
Of the schools that have reached out, here's is a ranking of the four that have gotten the most buzz. Nembhard would have to sit out of the upcoming season due to transfer rules, sp the ability to play immediately in 2021 is a dominant factor in this ranking.
The main buzz for Nembhard as of now is the Blue Devils. The departure of star guards Tre Jones and Cassius Stanley leave an obvious hole for someone to dictate the offense. So, it makes sense why head coach Mike Krzyzewski would want somebody like Nembhard to add depth to his backcourt.
However, Coach K is such a strong recruiter, it would put immense pressure on Nembhard to earn a starting spot. Five-star point guard Jeremy Roach is on his way to Durham, North Carolina, next season. Also, junior guard Jordan Goldwire has just as much experience as Nembhard and his experience has been within the program.
The high amount of minutes Nembhard needs to impress NBA scouts simply aren't there for him at Duke. While it is far and away the most prestigious program after him, that relationship really only benefits Duke.
Another team with interest, Gonzaga, presents a similar issue. Jalen Suggs, the No. 10 national prospect in the 2020 class, is the highest rated recruit that Gonzaga has ever landed. He is an extremely versatile player, but he will most likely play point guard for the Zags.
In Suggs' film, his highlights almost always come from ball-dominant plays.
In that on-ball sense, he is too similar to Nembhard for them to work well on the same floor. As the old saying goes: "There is only one ball."
Nembhard heading out west and joining the Bruins makes much more sense than Duke and Gonzaga. His chances over beating out current starting point guard Tyger Campbell are much higher than beating out Suggs or Roach.
Furthermore, the only potential addition to the Bruins' backcourt heading into next season is shooting guard Jaylen Clark. The California native is not a ball handler, being more of a hybrid shooting guard/small forward than hybrid shooting guard/point guard.
This type of player makes much more sense with Nembhard chemistry wise. While not the coach at the time, UCLA coach Mick Cronin could refer back to when the Bruins had now-New Orleans Pelican Lonzo Ball and use Nembhard in a similar manner. Ball dominance and precision passing define both Ball and Nembhard's game, though Ball was a much better defender.
While the Ducks has a four star point guard in Jalen Terry from Michigan heading to Eugene, Oregon, this upcoming season, the Ducks suffer a much bigger loss. Senior Payton Pritchard, Oregon's primary ball-handler last season, is gone to graduation.
The Ducks could use the leadership and experience of Nembhard. They could use his facilitation and organizing on the offensive end of the floor. With a natural scorer in Pritchard gone, that team is going to need other guys to step up. Nembhard can make that growth process for guys easier, just like he did with forward Keyontae Johnson at Florida.