GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – The Florida men’s basketball team hit the field Tuesday for their first practice of the 2021-22 season, and there’s a lot of promise, but still a lot to work out.
For starters, the burning question concerns the health of Keyontae Johnson, last season’s SEC preseason Player of the Year, who collapsed in a game on December 12 and has not played since. Head coach Mike White said Johnson was not medically cleared to return to basketball, but was still with the team.
Four players are inbound transfers with a lot of combined college basketball experience, but not together on the same team. White believes Phlandrous Fleming (Charleston Southern), Brandon McKissic (UMKC), CJ Felder (Boston College) and Myreon Jones (Penn State) can all make an impact this season. So far, new players and returnees have worked well together.
“I think this might be the best passing team we’ve had here,” said White. “I know it’s too early to tell. Of course, I hope that by December we will be as willing or more willing. “
6-foot-11 center Colin Castleton leads the returning Gators group. Castleton was voted the All-SEC second team last season after averaging 12.4 points per game and loved what he saw on day one of training.
“Overall I was very happy,” Castleton said. “There was a lot of trash and competitive talk, and I love that more than anything, so it was really nice to see that for sure.”
Florida finished 15-10 last season and won an NCAA tournament game. The Gators start the season Nov. 9 at home against Elon.
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