|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET12:00 PM GMT8:00 PM 北京时间5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST, Nov 5, 2019
Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida Attendance: 9,685
No. 6 Florida ready to roll with gifted newcomers
The No. 6 Florida Gators will unveil a talented cast of newcomers when they open their much-anticipated season against the North Florida Ospreys on Tuesday night in Gainesville.
The arrivals of Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. and five-star freshmen Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann have captured the attention of the country and the hopes of Gator fans.
"I don't blame whoever is out there saying we've got a chance to be pretty good or so-and-so has this ranking in the preseason," Gators coach Mike White said at SEC media day. "We've got a pretty good roster. It's a good problem to have.
"That said ... all the ingredients that exist in really good teams remain to be seen with this team. Toughness, maturity, experience, who's going to lead us, consistency, work ethic. I could go on and on."
The Gators lost leading scorer KeVaughn Allen to graduation but return their backcourt of sophomores Noah Locke (9.4 points per game) and point guard Andrew Nembhard (5.4 assists per game), the latter starting all 36 games last season. Locke hit 81 3-pointers last year, a Florida freshman record.
But it's the additions of Lewis, a potential lottery pick next June, Mann and Blackshear (14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds per game at Virginia Tech last season) that have stoked the talk of the Gators being able to contend for SEC supremacy alongside Kentucky.
"He's very talented. He understands the game at a high level," White said of Blackshear. "He gives us an opportunity to play a little bit differently offensively than we've played here in that we've struggled to score on the interior."
Lewis and Mann are the stars of a six-man freshmen class that also includes four-star recruit Omar Payne, a 6-foot-10 post player.
The Gators finished 20-16 last season and are coming off a 64-49 second-round loss to Michigan in the NCAA Tournament.
The Ospreys march into Gainesville with a senior-laden team, led by preseason All-Atlantic Sun Conference selections Wajid Aminu and guards Ivan Gandia-Rosa and Garrett Sams.
Overall, the Ospreys return four starters from a team that finished 16-17 but won seven in a row before getting bounced by Liberty in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Gone is leading scorer Noah Horchler, but Sams' 1,110 career points are tops in the ASUN among active returning players. He averaged 12.5 points per game last season. The Ospreys, who finished second in points per game in the ASUN at 75.3, return eight of their top nine scorers.
Aminu led the conference is blocks last year with 68, and the senior was selected to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year. Gandia-Rosa led the league in assists with 5.8 per game.
"We have such an experienced senior group that has competed at a high level facing 18 Power 5 teams over the last three years and have another arduous regular season and ASUN schedule this year," said coach Matthew Driscoll, entering his 11th year at UNF.
The Gators are 8-0 all-time against North Florida, including a 98-66 victory last November in Gainesville.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 4, 2019