#10 Florida Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Florida Gators
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #2 SEC
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Mike White has led the Gators to the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons. Since White took over in 2015-16, Florida has won at least 20 games every year. This season, the Gators return three talented sophomores and add two five-star freshmen along with arguably the top transfer in the NCAA. Florida has a chance to return to their status as an elite college basketball program in 2019-20.
2018-19 Record: 20-16, 9-9
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike White
Coach Record: 89-53 at Florida, 190-93 overall
Key Departed Players:
KeVaughn Allen, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Jalen Hudson, Forward, 9.3 ppg

Kevarrius Hayes, Center, 8.3 ppg
Keith Stone, Forward, 6.1 ppg

Deaundre Ballard, Guard, 4.6 ppg
Isaiah Stokes, Forward, 2.7 ppg
Mike Okauru, Guard, 1.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Noah Locke, Sophomore, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Keyontae Johnson, Sophomore, Forward, 8.1 ppg
Andrew Nembhard, Sophomore, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Dontay Bassett, Junior, Forward, 2.7 ppg

Gorjok Gak, Junior, Center, DNP last season
Key New Players:
Kerry Blackshear, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Virginia Tech
Ques Glover, Freshman, Guard
Jason Jitoboh, Freshman, Center
Scottie Lewis, Freshman, Guard
Tre Mann, Freshman, Guard
Omar Payne, Freshman, Forward
Noah Locke, Keyontae Johnson and Andrew Nembhard make up one of the top returning trios in the SEC. None of the three averaged double-digit points as freshmen, but all are primed to make major leaps this year. Locke is the top returning scorer after setting Florida’s freshman record for threes made in a season. Locke averaged 9.4 points and made 2.3 threes per game on 37.9% accuracy. Johnson is an athletic forward that continued to get better as last season progressed. Johnson averaged 13.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in the SEC Tournament and posted a double-double in the NCAA Tournament. Nembhard made the SEC All-Freshman Team and started every game as a freshman. Nembhard is one of the top pure point guards in the SEC as he averaged 8.0 points, 5.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Dontay Bassett is the lone other returning player from last season’s rotation. Gorjok Gak missed all last season after having knee surgery. Gak has battled injuries throughout his career and sadly suffered another setback this offseason, making him out indefinitely heading into the year. The most important piece for Florida might be the late addition of grad transfer Kerry Blackshear. Blackshear was a Second Team All-ACC member last season as he averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Blackshear’s addition instantly makes Florida one of the best teams in the NCAA. The arrival of five-star prospects Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann also plays a role in Florida’s high preseason ranking. Lewis and Mann were both McDonald’s All-Americans and Lewis was a member of USA Basketball at the Nike Hoop Summit. Both players provide instant upside and talented depth for the Gators. Three other freshmen join the roster, including four-star, top-50 prospect Omar Payne. Payne is a 6-foot-9 forward that will need to provide frontcourt depth from day one due to Gak’s injury. Florida is one of the more interesting teams in the NCAA with a strong balance of experience and talent. The Gators are legitimate threats to Kentucky in the SEC and potential Final Four contenders.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.8 (291st in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.6 (20, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.5 (274, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (83, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (136, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.4 (230, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (122, 5)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (234, 13)
Assists Per Game: 12.1 (268, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (67, 3)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#11 Scottie Lewis
#45 Andrew Nembhard
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#7 Scottie Lewis
#24 Tre Mann
#44 Omar Payne