The college basketball season is almost here! The Florida Gators basketball team will play their first regular season game on November 5th against the North Florida Ospreys. The Florida Gators will start the season as the sixth ranked team in the country. Florida returns most of their starters from the previous season, such as Andrew Nembhard and Keyontae Johnson. They also had the eighth ranked recruiting class in the country. Florida signed five recruits including two five-stars and McDonald’s All-Americans in Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann. The Gators also landed the #1 transfer in former Virginia Tech PF/C Kerry Blackshear Jr. There are high expectations, for the Gators this season. Here are three bold predictions for the Florida Gators basketball team.
Florida has two players go in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft
The Florida Gators have a very talented roster with some players that might have a future NBA career. Two players that might leave Florida early to head to the NBA are Scottie Lewis and Andrew Nembhard. Scottie Lewis is a true freshman that was one of the top recruits in the 2019 recruiting class. Lewis was the seventh ranked recruit in his class and is projected to be a one and done at UF. Lewis is a very athletic player that plays with a high motor and can lock down on defense. Sophomore Andrew Nembhard might be the other Gator to head to the NBA early as a potential first round pick. Nembhard thought about leaving last season but decided to come back to continue his development. The Canadian point guard plays with high basketball IQ, can distribute the ball well and hit from three.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. wins SEC Player of the Year
A big reason why Florida is the sixth ranked team in the country is the addition of Kerry Blackshear Jr. The Virginia Tech graduate transfer was one of the most wanted recruits available in the transfer portal. Florida was able to beat out Kentucky and Tennessee for the highly prized big man. Blackshear is a center that can defend and score at a high level. The center position has been an issue for the Gators but Blackshear could make it a strength. With his experience, Blackshear will come in at Florida and be their go-to player. The Florida native was already predicted to be the SEC Player of the Year and I think he’ll win the award.
The Florida Gators make it to the Final Four
This is the most talented roster Mike White has had as the Gators head coach. Florida is also one of the most talented teams in the country. They have a good mix of athleticism and experience to make a run. In years past, there has always been one team that just looks so much better than everybody else. It was Duke and Virginia last season but there isn’t a clear cut favorite to win the National Championship. Florida’s experience will be key as they’ll compete for a championship. Getting to the Final Four will be a huge accomplishment for the Gators basketball program and not many will be surprised if they win the whole thing.