UF men’s basketball team opens practice

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Florida men’s basketball team hit the court on Tuesday for their first practice of the 2021-22 season, and there is much promise, but still much to sort out.

For starters, the burning question concerns the health of Keyontae Johnson, last season’s Preseason SEC Player of the Year who collapsed during a game on Dec. 12 and hasn’t played since. Mike White, the head coach, says Johnson is not yet cleared to return to basketball but that he continues to be a part of the team.

Four in-coming transfer players have a lot more college basketball experience than they do together, but not on the same team. White believes Phlandrous Fluming (Charleston Southern), Brandon McKissic, CJ Felder and Myreon James (Penn State), can all make an impact this season. Both the returning players and new players have done well so far.

“I think it’s maybe the best passing team we’ve had here,” White said. “I know it’s early to say that. Of course hopefully by December we’re as willing or more willing.”

Colin Castleton, 6-foot-11 center, leads the group of returning Gators. Castleton was named Second Team All-SEC after scoring 12.4 points per contest. He liked what he saw from the first day of practice.

“Overall, I was really happy,” Castleton said. “There was a lot of trash talk and competitiveness, and I love that more than anything, so it was definitely enjoyable to see that for sure.”

Florida won an NCAA tournament match last season and finished the season 15-10. The Gators begin the season at home against Elon on November 9.

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