Kerry Blackshear looks to fill a hole that the Florida men’s basketball team has been missing since it’s last deep NCAA Tourney run; that of a dominant big-man. The 6 feet, 10 inches tall power forward (emphasis on power) graduate transfer had every college salivating for his services. From Tennessee to Arkansas and even Kentucky, The Orlando native had his pick of the finest universities in the SEC. But, he choose the college just a short drive from his hometown.
A 6'10" graduate transfer, from Orlando, FL…at forward, #24 @kjblack15.#GatorsHoop pic.twitter.com/078chvgvez
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) August 25, 2019
It was a slow process. It took encouragement from all parties. Not only did Mike White and staff want Blackshear here, so did his teammates.
Florida also has youth on it’s side. Blackshear will be the only graduate on the team. Florida has returned three starters from last season (Andrew Nembhard, Keyontae Johnson, Noah Locke) and two highly-touted freshman (Scottie Lewis, Tre Mann).
Florida’s youth coupled with Blackshear’s experience should pay dividends for the Gators in March.
Location was also an aspect in Blackshear’s decision; he loves the fact that his family can come up and see him much more than he is now in Gainesville.
When it was all said and done Blackshear felt that he had to pull a prank on Gator head coach Mike White and told him he was not going to UF, before finally letting him know that he was.
Kerry Blackshear was a force for three years at Virginia Tech. He and the Hokies went to the NCAA Tournament twice in his time there and last year was his finest. Blackshear averaged around 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. In his final game for Virginia Tech, Blackshear had 18 points, 16 boards and five assists in a narrow loss to the Zion Willamson led Duke Blue Devils in the Elite Eight, 75-73.
Florida Basketball, Fantastic!
Florida, with the addition of Blackshear and company, are a sleeper pick to make it all the way to the Final Four this season. With a good mix of the offensive firepower of the returning sophomores, crazy athleticism of freshman Mann and Lewis, and grad transfer leadership, Florida will look to compete for an SEC title with the likes of Kentucky, Auburn and Tennessee. All in all, Blackshear will bring a multitude of skills that Florida has been lacking on the offensive side of the ball for quite some time.