Florida State's Raiquan Gray works against Florida's Isaiah Stokes during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 81-60. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Isaiah Stokes Shines In Gator Win Over La Salle

Veterans such as Jalen Hudson and KeVaughn Allen are arguably the most important players on the court for the Florida men’s basketball team.

However, the Gators will never truly reach their potential unless guys like Isaiah Stokes step up. Wednesday night showed a glimpse of what the Florida newcomer is capable of doing.

Nowhere But Up For Isaiah

Stokes is finally showing the world what he could do as he is still recovering from a torn ACL injury that kept him out all of last season.

In 16 minutes of play, Stokes scored nine points on 3 of 5 shooting while also grabbing two rebounds. While the numbers aren’t jumping off the score sheet, Stokes looked nimble on the court. Against La Salle big man Jared Kimbrough, Stokes operated smoothly in the post to the point where it was an obvious mismatch.

The redshirt freshman talked about how he basically forgot how to play basketball after the injury and is learning the conditioning side of the game all over again.

“It’s definitely great, dealing with the rehab, I basically forgot how to play basketball,” Stokes said. “Forgot how to run, it was crazy. Definitely a life experience that taught me a lot.”

Stokes, shows versatility

Stokes not only flashed his ability to score in the post but also his passing capability. The Tennessee native dished out two assists, one of them coming out of a double team to Andrew Nembhard for an easy lay up.

Stokes says that the reason he is so good at passing is because his brother struggled at it which motivated him to improve.

“Being able to pass is everything dealing with a big,” Stokes said. ” I feel like if you can pass, people have to play you more honest, you can’t get double teamed. That’s what a big man should have in his arsenal.”

Coming back from a torn ACL is very difficult and the results don’t tend to show immediately. However, Stokes is slowly becoming the man that Florida coach Mike White and the rest of the coaching staff recruited. After the game White said that he believes that Stokes could have made some easy baskets but thought that the big man had a solid overall game.

“I thought he was close to having a very good game offensively,” White said. “I thought he missed a couple of chippys, he’s really skilled. Glad he was able to showcase that tonight.”

Stokes will try to take another step next Wednesday against Oklahoma in the first game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Atlanta.

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