Blue Ribbon ranks Florida 8th in Top 25


Blue Ribbon Magazine released its preseason college basketball Top 25 on Tuesday, and the Gators are highly thought of going into the 2017-18 season.

The Gators were ranked eighth in the country by the comprehensive magazine that previews all 351 Division I teams.

Florida returns three starters and seven players overall from a team that went 27-9 and reached the Elite Eight in its second season under Coach Mike White. The Gators have made Elite Eight appearances in five of their last seven seasons.

Florida is one of three SEC teams ranked in Blue Ribbon’s Top 25. Kentucky is ranked 5th in the country, while Alabama is ranked 24th. Arizona is the magazine’s preseason No. 1 team.

The Gators are going through individual drills in September and will hold their first official practice on Oct. 4. UF’s preseason opener is Nov. 5 against Tampa and regular season opener is Nov. 13 against Gardner-Webb at Exactech Arena.

Other notes:

— Florida coach Mike White was among a handful of coaches to watch 2018 five-star forward Emmitt Williams work out in Orlando on Monday. White then stopped at The Villages to see 2019 four-star point guard Tre Mann.

— Four-star 2018 point guard David Duke is taking an official visit to Florida this weekend. The 6-foot-4 Duke, who is playing this season at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., has Florida in his final four schools with Virginia Tech, Villanova and Providence.