It's the difference between point guard presence and back court blues.
Florida's starting point guard Andrew Nembhard, as well as backup point guard/shooting guard Tre Mann both declared for the 2020 NBA Draft. However, both signed with an NCAA-certified agent, making them eligible to return to school should they choose to do so.
In all likelihood, based on the projected NBA interest of both guys, Nembhard and Mann will be back in Gainesville next season.
However, what if they don't?
If either guy chooses to officially declare for the NBA and leave UF, what will the Gators miss most?
Florida would lose its unquestioned offensive leader if Nembhard were to leave. Notice I did not say best offensive player, as that title belongs to forward Keyontae Johnson.
However, it may hurt an offense worse to lose its leader. The Canadian former-five star is as traditional as point guards come in today's game. In fact, his true pass-first style may be difficult as of now to translate to the next level, as NBA point guards have such a heavy scoring presence now.
But in college basketball? When someone else such as Johnson can handle the scoring load?
And if Nembhard actually left, UF would miss the guy that makes this whole process work.
More than anything, it is hard to know how everyone else would be if Nembhard departed. The 11.2 points, 5.6 assists per game point guard often allow for guys like Johnson to flourish. He gets him, along with other Gators, the ball in the right spot at the right time.
Additionally, Nembhard finally seems to be coming into his own as a scorer. As his career has progressed, he has been more of a threat to put the ball in the basket himself, which makes his already-polished passing even better.
Now, with a drive-and-kick ability added to his game, Nembhard has become a headache for most every guard in the SEC that has to guard him.
As for Mann, UF would lose depth more than anything. The former McDonald's All American was not the full-time starter his freshman season that some projected he may be.
In fact, point guard/shooting guard Ques Glover fiercely battled Mann for the backup spot to Nembhard. But Mann's ceiling remains high.
The Florida native has a natural jump shot, both off of a pass and off the dribble, and has bounce that most college players don't have. His decision-making and passing need work, but that in no way means he can't contribute greatly to a good Florida team in 2020.
If he were to leave, coach Mike White's group would lose a high-ceiling, freaky-athletic guard that can give any defense fits.
Moving forward at point guard
Glover would naturally be expected to step up and compete for Florida’s starting point guard role, after battling with Mann for the priority depth spot in 2019-20.
However, Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appelby will also be eligible in 2020-21, providing the Gators with options should both Nembhard and Mann walk out the door completely.
Despite playing at a smaller school in the Horizon League, Appelby has proven himself as an effective scorer that could perhaps elevate the point guard position in that respect. Averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 assists in 63 games, Appelby is a playmaker and has seen improvement from beyond the arc. He finished his sophomore season shooting .389 from three, going 74-for-190.