Florida basketball has entirely re-shapen its roster heading into Todd Golden’s second season at the helm and is looking to make a run to the NCAA Tournament in a few months.
After a disappointing finish in the SEC Tournament, followed by an NIT loss to UCF, Gator fans were left with the same bad taste in their mouths that they’ve had for the past few seasons.
But this upcoming campaign brings a little more optimism and excitement than we’ve seen in the last few years.
In CBS Sports’ Preseason Top 101 teams, the Gators were slotted at No. 36, with plenty of room to go up.
Florida basketball: On the transfer portal train
Todd Golden hit the transfer portal hard in the offseason and brought in a ton of new guys who figure to have an immediate impact.
Clayton will be the Gators’ starting point guard and will have the Gators’ offense in his hands. Samuel will have a bigger role now that Yale transfer EJ Jarvis has retired from basketball, and should be a big defensive presence in the paint for Florida.
The big question raised by CBS is how will the Gators replace Colin Castleton. Well, they probably won’t fully do it this season.
But Golden went out and got Micah Handlogten from Marshall, a big seven-footer who won the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year last season. He’ll help fill the void left by Colin down low.
And of course, Riley Kugel figures to not just be the best player in Gainesville, but one of the best in the conference.
Golden has a lot of pieces to work with on the court this season. If he can get these guys to click early, and they aren’t bit by the injury bug, this Florida team can be very dangerous.