The Gators men’s basketball team had its first practice on Sept. 27 with new head coach Todd Golden and already have a few names on the preseason injury list.
Fifth-year senior point guard Kyle Lofton, the transfer from St. Bonaventure, suffered a groin injury during practice Saturday. He limped off of the floor straight to the training room and spent the rest of practice there. Trainer Dave Werner determined the injury to be mild and Lofton will only be out seven to 10 days. Lofton was back in the training room for treatment on Sunday and Monday and will likely continue to until he is recovered. Lofton, the 6-foot-3 four-year starter, tallied 1,613 points and 604 assists in his four seasons at St. Bonaventure. He also started all 116 appearances and averaged 5.2 assists over his career with the Bonnies.
Lofton’s injury occurred nine days after Will Richard, the 6-foot-4 transfer from Belmont slipped on a wet spot during a Sept. 22 workout and sprained his right knee. He will be out at least another week, but there is a possibility it could be longer. He is cleared to do shooting drills and some other light non-contact practice. Richard averaged 12.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game as a freshman at Belmont in 2021, helping the Bruins to a 25-8 overall record. He scored in double figures in 23 of 33 games, including 12 games with 15-plus points.
With Lofton out, junior Trey Bonham, a transfer from Virginia Military Institute, got the most of the first-group point guard reps with some also going to freshman Denzel Aberdeen. Fifth-year senior Myreon Jones, junior Niels Lane, sophomore Kowacie Reeves and freshman Riley Kugel are all projected to be up for the shooting guard and small forward positions in Richard’s absence.
Start of the Season
The first game of the season will be played against Stony Brook on Nov. 7 in Gainesville. After going 20-14 last season, Golden and his team look to make his first season an impactful one.