Senior Kasey Hill prepares for his final debut playing in the O’Dome Wednesday night. After a tough loss against Kentucky on Saturday, the Gators look to defeat Arkansas. Hill is confident that his team can bounce back after the loss that ended their nine-game winning streak. While the team hopes for their final home win of the season, the seniors look to make their last game on the O’Dome court a memorable one. Seniors Canyon Barry, Justin Leon and Schuyler Rimmer will join Hill in his farewell to the O’Dome.
"Wednesday is the last time you can see Kasey, Justin, Canyon and Schuyler play in the O'Dome" pic.twitter.com/pJq3ZGWr0j
— Gators M-Basketball (@GatorsMBK) February 27, 2017
Looking Back on Hill’s Path as a Gator
Hill has come a long way since he started as a Gator his freshman year. Despite his improvement, Kasey has been impressively racking up his assists ever since the start of his career. He led his team in assists 16 times throughout his freshman season alone. As he heads into his final games of the season, Hill currently has 508 assists under his belt. This places him in the No. 2 spot for most assists of all time at Florida. He only trails behind Erving Walker who accumulated 547 assists throughout his time as a Gator from 2008-2012. Hill is excited for the chance to beat the record, but is more focused on getting the win over Arkansas overall. Hill has also had 4 games with a 8/1 or better Assist/Turnover ratio in his career. That’s third-best behind his teammate Chris Chiozza who has six such games.
In addition to his achievements in assists, Kasey has also come a long way defensively. He attributes a lot of this to watching former teammate Scottie Wilbekin play over the years. Coach Billy Donovan constantly told Kasey he has to “be like Scottie,” which created a defensive priority in Hill’s game play. Hill has learned the importance of playing both sides of the game, enhancing his play both offensively and defensively. He is currently sixth in all-time career steals as a Gator with 174 steals. Hill is also nearing the top 10 for steals per season. He currently has 52 steals this season, just behind the record of 57 to get him into the top 10.
— Michael White (@MikeWhiteUF) February 28, 2017
Mike White on Hill’s Departure
Head Coach Mike White is not looking forward to seeing Kasey move on from his time as a Gator. Kasey has had a solid senior year, and White is losing a player who constantly sets a positive example for the rest of the team. White says Kasey has been “a great example of perseverance, character, and work ethic…” Hill had become quickly accustomed to Donovan as his coach his freshman year, who led the Gators to the Final Four in 2014. Kasey has made adjustments ever since White came around as his new coach. Hill and White’s relationship has improved over the last two years, as Kasey feels much more comfortable around him this year. White has displayed his care and commitment to his team, which has enhanced the team dynamics.
Nearing The End of an Era
The increased team chemistry has contributed to their chance in the tournament this year, which Kasey is excited to have the opportunity to play in. He and the rest of the seniors look forward to ending their careers as Gators on a good note. For Kasey, he views his last game day at the O’Dome as just another day. Being more of a competitive rather than emotional person, Kasey simply wants to get out there and get the win.