The 100th season of Florida Gators basketball officially begins Tuesday.
And it starts with a familiar opponent: The Florida State Seminoles. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. from FSU’s Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Gators have lost their last four games against FSU.
Florida, heading into its fourth year under coach Mike White, returns all but two letter winners from last year’s team that finished 21-13 and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. However, those two starters — Chris Chiozza and Egor Koulechov — were instrumental to the team’s success. Chiozza set the school record for career assists (571) as a four-year point guard, while Koulechov finished second on the team averaging 13.8 points per game.
Seniors Jalen Hudson and KeVaughn Allen will serve as the focal point for White’s team this year. Hudson, who returned after initially considering entering the NBA Draft, led UF’s scoring attack with an average of 15.5 points per game last year. Allen, arguably the Gators’ top offensive threat when he’s aggressive, is looking to rebound from a down junior year in which he averaged just 11 points per game.
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Also look out for freshman Andrew Nembhard, a five-star talent who is expected to take the majority of minutes at point guard.
The Seminoles, who went 23-12 last year and reached the Elite Eight, returns its top three point scorers from last season in Phil Cofer (12.8 points per game), Terance Mann (12.6) and Braian Angola (12.5).
UF will be tested early and often this season. After playing FSU on the road, Florida will also play non-conference games against five other teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma (Nov. 21), West Virginia (Dec. 4), Michigan State (Dec. 8), Butler (Dec. 29) and TCU (Jan. 26).