After a run that saw the Florida men’s basketball team reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, Florida will have seven players return to its roster this fall.
Three of those seven are starters, with KeVaughn Allen anchoring the offense and Kevarrius Hayes protecting the rim at center, at least until redshirt senior John Egbunu recovers from a torn ACL.
However, entering the 2017-18 campaign, one of the biggest questions surrounding UF is who will step up to fill holes on the team. That starts with replacing Devin Robinson.
Robinson finished last season second on the team in points with 400 and also led the team with 220 rebounds.
Now that he’s playing for the Washington Wizards, the Gators need to find a replacement for his position.
One player who could match Robinson’s production is 6-foot-5 graduate transfer Egor Koulechov. In two seasons at Rice, Koulechov became one of 16 players in program history to score 1,000 points and collect 500 rebounds.
While he averaged 18.2 points per game last year, he’ll have to deal with competing in a tougher conference in the SEC. Although his scoring ability could be a huge addition to Florida’s lineup.
Freshman Isaiah Stokes is also an option to start at small forward. The four-star prospect from Memphis, Tennessee, was a two-sport prospect, but chose to focus on basketball over football.
On top of having the same height as Robinson — both stand at 6-foot-8 — Stokes has a bigger frame which could help him in the post. He also has a decent jump shot, something that would allow him to be a viable scoring option.
Even if Stokes doesn’t start right away, he has the potential to develop into a key player during his time at Florida.
Who will be the starting point guard?
Senior Chris Chiozza will forever go down in Gator history with his buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. He even recorded a triple-double off the bench against Missouri on Feb. 2 at the O’Connell Center.
He does, however, have some competition in the form of junior Jalen Hudson.
The Virginia Tech transfer was one of the Hokies’ top scorers during his two years in Blacksburg, finishing fourth on the team in points each season with 222 in 2014-15 and 293 in 2015-16.
Hudson has the potential to put up points in volume, as shown with his three 20-point performances during his sophomore season.
He’s also shown potential from the perimeter, making multiple three-pointers in a game eight times in the 2015-16 season.
While Chiozza’s scoring isn’t his strong suit — he’s scored 649 points in his three years at UF — he has an edge when it comes to all-around game. Chiozza has 363 career assists compared to Hudson’s 58, and Chiozza grabbed 295 rebounds while Hudson has 142.
Another big factor in who will be named the starting point guard could be size.
Hudson has the advantage there, standing at 6-foot-6 as the tallest guard on the team. Chiozza, the shortest player on the roster, is listed at 6-feet.
Both players are likely to see a lot of playing time this year, but coach Mike White will have a lot to think about when it comes to the starting point guard role before the 2016-17 season tips off on Nov. 13.
You can follow Jake Dreilinger on Twitter @DreilingerJake, and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida forward Devin Robinson dunks the ball during the second half of the first round of the NCAA college basketball tournament against East Tennessee State, Thursday, March 16, 2017 in Orlando, Fla. Florida defeated ETSU 80-65. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)