Florida Gators rank 10th in ESPN's bracketology
August 11, 2022
The NCAA Tournament is still a couple of months away, but there is still a lot of time before the season begins. That means it's time for bracketology updates, and Joe Lunardi has the Florida Gators as a 10 seed.
Lunardi has the Florida Gators faced off against the Michigan Wolverines in the South Region. This is the same matchup he predicted back in July. However, it does not mean that the team has improved much over the past month.
The SEC has a total of six teams in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky is the top seed in the South Region, while Alabama is the sixth seed. Other notable teams from the region include Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. In the East Region, Tennessee is the second seed, while Missouri and LSU are the First Four Out.
This is an improvement from the previous projection, where Florida was left out of the First Four Out group. If this prediction holds, it would be the first time the program under Todd Golden makes the NCAA tournament in his first year as the head coach.
New coaching staff, new secret weapon
The Florida basketball program significantly changed this off-season, as Golden was hired as the head coach. He comes from a different background than Mike White, UF's former head coach, and has a distinct coaching style. His approach to running the program touches every aspect of it, from the evaluation of players to the way he approaches the transfer portal.
The latter topic is often less talked about than the other aspects of a program's operations, such as recruiting and roster construction. However, it can have a huge impact on a team's performance.
During an episode of Florida Basketball Hour, fans got a glimpse into some of the details that Golden wants to implement in the program.
During his interview, Golden talked about the importance of utilizing ball screen techniques from the West Coast. He said that various programs have successfully utilized this type of offense over the past few years.
"We'll take a lot of the ball screen stuff that came from the West Coast," said Golden. "You know, I think St. Mary's, BYU, and even Santa Clara to an extent were programs that ran some really good ball screen stuff over the last few years. So we can pull from that."
It's no secret that Golden is a fan of the West Coast Conference, and he wants to take the best of the region with him to the SEC. His last job was as the head coach of the San Fransisco basketball team, which gave him a front-row seat to many of the programs that utilize ball screen techniques.
Recruiting young talent
Although college basketball hasn't started, the Florida basketball staff has begun to look into the 2024 recruiting class. One of the players that they've been in contact with is David Castillo, a guard from Oklahoma.
Castillo, who participated in the U16 U.S. national team, is currently competing for a spot on the U17 squad. His offers from various schools across the country have shown that the industry is already starting to see him as a potential asset.
Carlin Hartman, a representative from the program, was able to contact Castillo earlier in June.
The Florida basketball staff secured a top-60 recruit during the early signing period for the class of 2023. This was a huge boost to their efforts in the transfer portal and allowed them to make an early impact in the 2024 recruiting class.