Florida Basketball: Expectations still high for Gators for 2024/25

The Gators were ranked 17th in a "Way Too Early" poll from On3
Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA

Following an SEC Tournament run that resulted in being tournament runner-ups and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament that could have been deeper if not for some nefarious reffing, Florida Basketball has plenty of reasons to be excited for the 2024/25 campaign.

While the Gators did lose a couple key figures, the assumption of what is returning combined with some key transfer portal additions have people feeling the vibes in Gainesville heading into 2024/25.

Florida Basketball: Run It Back

On3 released their "Way Too Early" top 25 poll for the 2024/25 season and the Gators were picked 17th in the country. Alabama, who Florida beat twice last season, was picked 1st and defending national champions UConn were picked 4th.

There are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about the Gators heading to next season.

Florida is having to say goodbye to Zyon Pullin and Tyrese Samuel to graduation, as well as Riley Kugel to the transfer portal, but on paper should have Walter Clayton Jr. and Will Richard back. The latter two are testing the waters and going through the NBA Draft process, but more than likely both should be back in Gainesville next season.

Add in Todd Golden's persistence in the transfer portal with additions Alijah Martin, Rueben Chinyelu, and Sam Alexis, and it would be a disappointment if Florida wasn't a contender in the SEC once again next season.

The Gators will need to continue improving their defensive rotations if they hope to take the next step and return to the Sweet 16, a place they haven't been to since 2017. However, if they can be organized, they should have enough length to disrupt anyone in the country.

Golden will be entering his third season as head coach of the Gators and signed a contract extension with the team at the tail end of last season.