The changes on the Florida Gator men’s basketball roster continue. Head coach Mike White and the Gators picked up another playmaker off the transfer portal. Cleveland State point guard Tyree Appleby has announced via social media he’ll commit to the Florida Gators. Per NCAA transfer rules, Appleby will sit out the 2019-20 season. However, this remains another major off-season pick up by the Gators.
All About Appleby
Tyree Appleby announced his decision to come to Gainesville following his official visit this weekend. He picked Florida over other SEC programs such as Texas A&M, Tennessee and Arkansas. Cleveland State basketball fans considered Appleby to be the apple of their eye. In his sophomore season at Cleveland State, Appleby averaged 17.2 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from the field. He also averaged 5.6 assists per game and pulled down an average of 3.7 rebounds per game. He led the team in minutes, points, assists and steals (1.4 per game). Appleby was also the team’s most efficient free throw shooter (78%).
On the court, Appleby is an offensive spark plug. He’s strong at creating his own shot. He can create enough separation from his defender to get a clean look. He’s very quick driving to the hoop. Appleby is a strong three-point shooter, shooting 38.9 percent from deep. Appleby also has tremendous passing abilities.
He can take a game over if he needs to, which was often at Cleveland State. The Vikings had the second-worst record in the Horizon League at 5-13 in league play and 10-21 overall. Appleby is responsible for the first triple-double in program history with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the team’s 78-68 win over Milwaukee on Feb. 9.
Even though Appleby won’t suit up for the Gators until the 2020-21 season, he’s already making an impact for the Gator program. He gives White and the coaching staff confidence in the point guard position moving forward. The likelihood is high that the team’s starting point guard, sophomore Andrew Nembhard, might leave Gainesville after this season and go to the NBA. He declared for the Draft after his freshman season but decided to return to campus right before the deadline. Also, if incoming freshman Tre Mann performs the way he’s capable of, there’s a chance he might be a one-and-done player. When Tyree Appleby steps on the floor for the Gators in the 2020-21 season, he’ll be a fourth-year junior. He’ll bring experience to the position as well as having a year to observe and study White’s style of play.