Just seven months ago the Gators men's basketball team had no coach, no exciting prospects and no signs of success on the near horizon. However, inside the gym at Florida’s first preseason practices this week, things looked very different. It all starts with new head coach Todd Golden.
Sports | Men's Basketball
Florida Gators forward Keyontae Johnson officially entered the transfer portal Sunday.
He’s not done just yet. Florida forward Colin Castleton will wear the orange and blue for one more season.
Florida’s season came to an end Sunday in a 72-56 loss to Xavier. “This is a low, they need to learn from it and it’ll make them better,” interim head coach Al Pinkins said.
“That one was for him. Everything out there was for him,” said Colin Castleton following Florida’s first win under its new interim coach Al Pinkins. The Gators advanced to round two of the NIT Wednesday night.
Florida HC Mike White gave a somber speech to the media after Thursday’s loss to Texas A&M, which bounced the Gators from the SEC Tournament and turned their tournament hopes to wash. “A two hour microcosm of the season,” White said. “Ups, downs. Leave everything out on the floor and come up just a little bit short.”
With six seconds remaining, Phlandrous Fleming Jr. launched a three to put Florida ahead of Vanderbilt. “They called the play ‘home run,’” Fleming said. “I was wondering who would go and get it.” Fleming went and got it, and he hit it out of the park.
“We have to be desperate, we have to be urgent now,” said Florida forward Anthony Duruji following Tuesday night’s loss to No. 18 Arkansas. Colin Castleton set a new career-high in points, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Razorbacks.
Kentucky center Oscar Tshwiebe proved too much for Florida to handle in a 21-point loss to the Wildcats. “He’s probably the best rebounder I’ve ever played against.” Colin Castleton said.
Florida held strong against UGA despite the ‘Dawgs comeback effort in the closing minutes.