Nov 10, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Chattanooga Mocs forward Sam Alexis (4) shoots against Louisville Cardinals forward Emmanuel Okorafor (34) during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Gators Basketball Adds Chattanooga Transfer, Lose Szymczyk

The Florida men’s basketball team was active in the transfer portal over the weekend. The Gators added former Chattanooga forward Sam Alexis, but lost rising junior forward Aleks Szymcyzk.

The transactions come after Florida lost rising junior Riley Kugel to the portal in March. The former All-SEC freshman guard transferred to Kansas.

Alexis Homecoming

A native of Apopka, Fla., Alexis is returning to Central Florida as he joins the Gators.

Alexis was a key contributor to a 21-12 Chattanooga team last season. The 6’9″ sophomore averaged 10.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. His production earned him All-Southern Conference third team honors and placement on the SOCON All-Defensive team.

Florida’s front court will look different in the 2024-25 season. Starting forward Tyrese Samuel graduated and starting center Micah Handlogten’s status is unclear after suffering a left leg fracture in the SEC Championship game on March 17.

This past season, rebounding was a core part of Florida’s identity. The team was third in the country in both rebounds and offensive rebounds per game. Samuel and Handlogten combined for 14.3 boards per game. Alexis, who was fourth in the Southern Conference in rebounds per game, should help replace some of the Gators’ lost production.

Still just 19-years old, Alexis has two years of eligibility remaining.

Szymczyk Departs

Szymczyk leaves Florida after missing the entire 2023-24 season due to a foot injury suffered in the preseason. He joined the team in practice towards the back-half of the year, but did not see any game action.

An international recruit from Frankfurt, Germany, Szymczyk was a member of head coach Todd Golden’s inaugural recruiting class. In his freshman year with the Gators, he played 14 games where he averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds.

Golden Recruiting

Through his first three recruiting cycles at Florida, Golden has signed just one ESPN top 100 prospect- Riley Kugel. Instead, Golden has prioritized the transfer portal.

The Gators primary starting five last season were all transfers.

About Lance Williams

Lance Williams is a first-year Economics major with a minor in Mass Communications, and an aspiring play-by-play broadcaster.

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