Omar Payne joins growing list of players to leave Florida
Forward Omar Payne entered the transfer portal Tuesday and became the fifth player to leave coach Mike White's program since the end of the season. The 6-foot-10 Payne joined shooting guard Noah Locke, backup point guard Ques Glover and reserve forward Osayi Osifo in looking to play elsewhere next season. Star point guard and leading scorer Tre Mann entered the NBA draft with plans of hiring an agent, meaning he has no intention of returning to school for his junior season. Payne, a sophomore from Kissimmee, averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds while playing close to 16 minutes a game this season. Only Keyontae Johnson remains from Florida's 2018 class, which lost talented point guard Andrew Nembhard to Gonzaga last year and now is without Locke.
Sweet 16 bound: No. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns Florida 81-78
Oral Roberts won 81-78. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)INDIANAPOLIS – Dunk City, say hello to Max Abmas and the Golden Eagles of soaring Oral Roberts. Oral Roberts joins Florida Gulf Coast — those guys from “Dunk City” — as the only No. The Oral Roberts fans inside Indiana Famers Coliseum chanted “Cinderella” during a wild celebration after the victory. SMART FOULOne of the biggest decisions of the game came with 3:11 left after Oral Roberts pulled within 76-75.
Mann scores 22 points, Florida holds off Vandy 69-63 at SEC
4 seed Tennessee on Friday for the second game between the teams in six days. Noah Locke scored 13 points for Florida, and Tyree Appleby added 12 off the bench. Vanderbilt (9-16) lost to Florida for the third time this season and sixth straight in this series. The Commodores, who won only three league games in the regular season, had their chances for a second SEC win within 24 hours. Florida appeared ready to cruise to a sixth straight win in this series up 34-22 at halftime after the Gators scored the final eight of the half.
Florida beats No. 11 WVU in Big 12-SEC Challenge 85-80
11 West Virginia 85-80 on Saturday in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. Derek Culver led West Virginia (11-5) with a career-high 28 points, but he was bottled up in the second half. NICHOLS BACKFlorida assistant coach Darris Nichols faced West Virginia coach Bob Huggins for the third time. The Gators beat West Virginia in the 2016 Big 12/SEC Challenge in Gainesville, Florida, and at the 2018 Jimmy V Classic. 10 Texas Tech last Monday, Saturday's loss could prevent West Virginia from moving into the top 10 of the AP poll.
Short-handed Florida stuns No. 6 Tennessee 75-49
Florida guard Tre Mann (1) and Tennessee guard Davonte Gaines (0) compete for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19. 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Noah Locke scored 14 points, Tyree Appleby added 13 and short-handed Florida stunned No. 6 Tennessee 75-49 on Tuesday night. Guard Scottie Lewis (COVID-19 protocols) and forward Colin Castleton (ankle) missed the game. But forward Omar Payne, starting for the first time in nearly a year, finished with nine points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots for Florida (7-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference).
Short-handed Florida stuns No. 6 Tennessee 75-49
No one on Florida's roster has experienced a victory at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tennessee. Noah Locke scored 14 points, Tyree Appleby added 13 and the short-handed Gators stunned No. 6 Tennessee in dominating fashion, 75-49 on Tuesday night. “We proved tonight we're not good enough to go through the motions," said Vols coach Rick Barnes, who promised lineup changes moving forward. Florida: White seems to get his best from his guys against top competition.
Florida cruises past Stetson 86-39 in home opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Keyontae Johnson scored 19 points, Scottie Lewis had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Florida beat Stetson 84-40 on Sunday in the Gators’ home opener. Johnson's dunk started a 9-0 run to give Florida a 16-5 lead, and the Gators led by double figures for the rest of the game. Johnson finished the half with 12 points and Stetson scored 15. Florida scored the first 11 points of the second half for a 30-point lead, and the Gators led by as many as 47 points. Mann scored a career-best 19 points in Florida’s opener against Army.
Floridas Mann returning for sophomore year, chance to start
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Florida guard Tre Mann is returning for his sophomore season. Mann surprised the Gators by announcing in late April he planned to explore his professional options. But once starting point guard Andrew Nembhard opted to transfer he eventually landed at Gonzaga last month that opened the door for Mann's return to Gainesville. Mann should get a shot at playing the point, although Florida also has sophomore Ques Glover and former Cleveland State standout Tyree Appleby at the all-important position. Two Florida starters guard Scottie Lewis and forward Keyontae Johnson decided to stay in college after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the postseason.
Mike White likes Gators' talent, despite lack of experience
FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. - Last season, Mike White admitted that he sometimes had a tough time reaching his team. He affects the game in a lot of ways outside of scoring, which is pretty unique for high school kids. The Gators also signed 6-foot-9-inch center Omar Payne from Montverde Academy, ranked in the top 50 as well. White admitted that he'll have to build this group of players into a team, but praised their makeup off the court. "We started three freshmen that had really good freshman campaigns, and I really like our incoming class, its very highly ranked.