Florida coach Todd Golden gestures during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Youngblood)

SEC Media Day: Florida Basketball coach Todd Golden provides transfer strategy

Florida men’s basketball coach Todd Golden provided a preview of his team Wednesday at SEC basketball media day in Birmingham, Ala. Much of the news conference seemed to revolve around the aggressive transfer strategy employed by Golden this offseason.

Florida’s Transfers

The Gators added five players through the transfer portal this season and are gaining much needed depth after the departure of several key players. The additions include three guards and two big men. One of the main players to depart was center Colin Castleton. Golden said he knew Castleton would be hard to lose, but is confident they can replace the production.

“We knew we needed to replace a lot of production as Colin [Castleton] left our program and I feel like we did a really good job of getting a good balance of frontcourt and in the backcourt,” Golden said.

Castleton was the star of the Florida team, averaging around 15 points and eight assists during his time with the Gators. Sophomore center Micah Handlogten is one of the transfers that is set to fill the role in front of the rim. Golden had a lot of praise for the Marshall transfer, calling him a “really good shot-blocker, rebounder and a great presence at the rim.”

The Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year last season hopes to have a major role in this Gators team.

The Gators also brought in three graduate students into the program in guards Julian Rishwain and Zyon Pullin, as well as forward Tyrese Samuel. The experience the three will bring to the team should be a big addition.

The last transfer was junior guard Walter Clayton Jr. Clayton is coming off of a strong year at Iona and has received a lot of praise from Golden. The head coach said he has confidence he can be a sharp shooter for the Gators.

“I think he’ll be one of the best shooters in the league,” Golden said.

Season Starts Soon

With the large number of transfers coming into the team this season, it is clear that Golden will rely on the experience they have. It will be interesting to see how the new faces blend into the team and how they will perform together.

The Gators start their season at home against Loyola Maryland on Nov. 6.

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