The Florida basketball program has paused all team activities due to COVID-19 and will not participate in the ‘Bubbleville’ tournament, Jeff Goodman reported Sunday.
The tournament, to be held at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, had the Gators scheduled to open their 2020-21 campaign against UMass Lowell on Wednesday, followed by the most recent NCAA Champion, fourth-ranked Virginia, on Friday.
Head coach Mike White and his team, who had a disappointing 19-12 season a year ago despite beginning the season ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll, were looking to bounce back and redeem themselves. Forwards Keyontae Johnson, who was named SEC Preseason Player of the Year, and Scottie Lewis, preseason All-SEC Second Team, were expected to help Florida run a more up-tempo offense this year, something the team will now have to wait to debut.
The team’s announced the suspension of activity would be one week, according to a statement from the University Athletic Association, making its next scheduled game Dec. 2 against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma. However, if the suspension of activity extends farther than that, fans might not get to see Florida basketball until much later. If the team isn’t ready to play in time for that game or the Stetson game on Dec. 6, which is exactly two weeks from now, the Gators could be forced to open their season against rival Florida State in Tallahassee on Dec. 12, a team they lost to handedly last November.
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Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.