The Gators (5-1) are loaded. They have eight blue chip recruits on the roster (more than every ACC team, save for Duke and Louisville) and that doesn’t include their two best players. For those two, the Gators went the new-fashioned route of transfers. The great thing about the transfer market is that you evaluate the 1000+ 2* and 3* recruits in college basketball and then convince the best ones to transfer to your program.
Enter Jalen Hudson and Egor Koulechov.
Hudson began his career at Virginia Tech before transferring to Florida. The redshirt junior needs to improve some areas of his game - defense and play-making to name a couple- but one area he excels is his ability to score. Through six games he’s averaging 21.7 ppg, knocking down 48% of his 3s.
On this team, that 3-pt% is average. The Gators’ roster is shooting 46% from beyond the arc, which is 3rd best in the nation.
Koulechov played at Arizona State and Rice, and now the 6-5 senior is having a career year in Gainesville. He’s made 49% of his 3s and has already had 34-point and 26-point games. On the year he’s averaging 17.7 per game.
With Hudson and Koulechov both being high-volume players, 6-2 junior KeVaughn Allen’s numbers are down slightly. However, the 1st Team all-SEC guard is still dangerous. He’s scored 13.5 ppg on the season, but averaged 20.0 in two games out West against Gonzaga and Duke.
Senior Chris Chiozza, who may be the quickest player in college basketball, rounds out the double figure scoring with 13.2 per game. Coming into this season he was a 32% 3-pt shooter, but he’s improved to 59% this season!
All told, the Gators have the 9th most efficient offense in the nation. This is due to their ability to rain 3s, and they rarely throw away possessions with turnovers (2nd nationally).
Their defense isn’t nearly as good as the one that led them to a 2nd place SEC finish last year, as their last three opponents have all scored more than 1.1 points per possession.
For FSU to pull the upset, the offense is going to have to be on fire, and the 3-point lottery will have to fall in the Seminoles’ favor.
The game tips at 9 PM from the sold out O-Dome (or whatever it is called these days) and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The Seminoles are 10-point underdogs.