Florida basketball: Riley Kugel will be a superstar for the Gators

Florida basketball has been centered around Colin Castleton for the past few years, and ever since the departure of Tre Mann and Andrew Nembhard, the Gators haven’t had a star on their team operating outside of the paint.

It’s no secret that the Gators have had their struggles offensively this year, especially when they’ve needed to operate without Colin Castleton.

Florida may have their next superstar on the perimeter already on their roster, and he’s starting to show us his potential.

Riley Kugel will be the next great player for the Florida Gators.

Florida basketball: Great Expectations

Coming out of high school, Kugel was a 4-star player on 247 Sports, but many sites listed him as a 5-star talent. He was ranked as the 4th-best shooting guard in the class of 2022, and the 11th-best player in Florida.

One thing that made Kugel so attractive out of high school was his athleticism. He can get up to the rim for thunderous finishes, and is very quick on the defensive end, forcing turnovers and wreaking havoc for opposing teams.

His offense is developing quickly too, as his handle has gotten much better as the year has gone on, and his ability to finish at the rim is as good as anybody.

His season averages don’t jump off the page, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. On the year, he’s averaging nine points, 2.6 rebounds, and shooting the ball at a 45.2% rate.

In his last six games, he’s been unleashed and has started to show us what he’s capable of. Over the last six Kugel is scoring 17.6 points, grabbing 3.3 rebounds, and is shooting the ball at a 51% rate.

With added minutes has come a lot of added production. Kugel has become the Gator’s best scoring threat quickly and is already taking on the role of feature player.

Next season, I think we can expect Kugel to stick around. There are a few rumors about him possibly trying to go to the NBA, but he can be a much better draft pick in a year or two if he sticks around.

Don’t be shocked if he does declare for the draft and then withdraw after getting feedback from scouts.

When Riley comes back, he’ll give everyone in the SEC problems, and establish himself as one of the best players in the league.

Keep up with Florida basketball at Hail Florida Hail.