Predicting Florida's NCAA Tournament Success With Dwight Howard

By Trevor Lowry
Dwight Howard Houston
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Just imagine how good the Florida Gators would have been if Dwight Howard would have joined the school instead of going pro. Florida would have gone much further than the second round in the NCAA tournament. That is for sure. With that in mind, let’s predict the Gators’ NCAA tournament success in the 2004-05 season if Howard would have actually joined.

My guess is Florida would have started its national championship run a season early. The Gators ended up winning two titles in a row after the 2004-05 season.

Howard stands at 6-foot-11 and is a beast when it comes to basically everything. He is a big man who can score the basketball at a high rate and you better believe he can rebound the ball. In his rookie season in the NBA, Howard averaged 12 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.

That was his first season after high school, people. The NBA is a huge step up from high school basketball and it is a completely different game than college hoops. I couldn’t even imagine Howard playing against college kids. He would have probably been the most dominant center at the college level.

Florida was still a pretty good team that year. That is the scary thing. After all, the Gators did make the second round of the tourney. They were also a No. 4 seed.

I am not sure how that whole chemistry thing would have worked out, but Howard was way too talented to ride the bench. With that said, David Lee, Corey Brewer, Al Horford and many other talented players were on that team.

If Howard would have joined the Gators right off the bat instead of going pro, Florida would have won the national championship. But, he didn’t. Florida can’t complain too much, though. It did go on to win two titles in a row and has had a lot of success ever since then — overall No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.

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