Florida’s 2020-21 basketball season ended with a sour taste. After just barely getting by Virginia Tech in the first round, the Gators were upset by a No. 15 seed in Oral Roberts in the second round. It was yet another first-weekend NCAA Tournament exit for coach Mike White, who enters his seventh season facing some pressure.
The team lost six players during the offseason between the transfer portal and the NBA draft, but it reloaded with its own solid haul of transfers. The Gators lineup this year will largely feature a hodgepodge group of new faces, but they do bring quite a bit of starting experience to Gainesville.
It’s likely this experience that has earned Florida some hype coming into the 2021 season, including from the preseason rankings from Ken Pomeroy, who has UF ranked No. 25 right now.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) October 17, 2021
Only four SEC teams rank higher: No. 13 Tennessee, No. 15 Arkansas, No. 17 Kentucky and No. 19 Alabama. Meanwhile, the Gators are just one spot behind rival Florida State, who it has never beaten in White’s six seasons.
This year’s hoops team will almost certainly look very different than last year’s did, but it’s a talented group that brings a breadth of experience. The only question will be whether this group can gel together cohesively, especially in an ascending SEC.