Gators to open season No. 6 in Associated Press basketball poll

Florida men's basketball coach Mike White speaks to reporters during the team's media day. (Brad McClenny//The Gainesville Sun)

The Florida men’s basketball team is ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press preseason poll released Monday.

It matches the Gators’ second-highest preseason ranking in program history, behind only UF’s 2006-07 campaign debuting at No. 1. Florida also opened at No. 6 in the 2001-02 season. It marks Florida’s 13th time opening the season in the AP’s top 10, including the second under coach Mike White. Previously under White’s watch, the Gators opened at No. 8 in the 2017-18 season and climbed as high as No. 5 later that season.

Florida’s roster boasts a host of young talent, as all three returning starters from last season’s squad are sophomores, pairing with a six-man freshman class highlighted by McDonald’s All-Americans Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann. The veteran presence comes from graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear, the team’s lone senior, along with junior Dontay Bassett in the post.

Florida hosts an exhibition game vs. Lynn University on Oct. 29 before tipping the regular season on Nov. 5 vs. North Florida.

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ preseason 2019-20 men’s college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, final 2018-19 records, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last year’s final ranking:

Record Pts Prv
1. Michigan St. (60) 32-7 1619 5
2. Kentucky (2) 30-7 1497 7
3. Kansas (3) 26-10 1457 17
4. Duke 32-6 1399 1
5. Louisville 20-14 1386
6. Florida 20-16 1313
7. Maryland 23-11 1134
8. Gonzaga 33-4 1096 4
9. North Carolina 29-7 1060 3
10. Villanova 26-10 1048 23
11. Virginia 35-3 1007 2
12. Seton Hall 20-14 863
13. Texas Tech 31-7 837 9
14. Memphis 22-14 773
15. Oregon 25-13 742
16. Baylor 20-14 523
17. Utah St. 28-7 491 25
18. Ohio St. 20-15 407
19. Xavier 19-16 356
20. Saint Mary’s (Cal) 22-12 330
21. Arizona 17-15 265
22. LSU 28-7 234 12
23. Purdue 26-10 230 13
24. Auburn 30-10 210 14
25. VCU 25-8 193

Others receiving votes: Washington 164, Colorado 152, Tennessee 78, Marquette 68, Florida St. 36, Davidson 34, Harvard 24, Illinois 14, Missouri 13, Mississippi St. 12, Houston 11, Georgetown 11, Cincinnati 8, Notre Dame 7, Creighton 4, Syracuse 3, NC State 3, Vermont 2, Alabama 2, Southern Cal 2, Liberty 2, Michigan 2, Dayton 1, Colgate 1, Providence 1.


  1. It has been a long time since we have had both football and basketball in the top ten at the same time. Football is based on performance on the field and basketball on potential on the court. I will take both. Baseball could potentially start highly ranked. Good to be a Gator.

  2. Can’t wait to see Coach White roll his new Mercedes-Benz out of the garage all cranked and ready to cruise. It’ll be fun to watch his offense operating with both an inside and outside game this year (for a change). Just hoping the
    injury bug has been exterminated. Go Gators!

  3. I think this team should ignore the preseason hype and focus on the fundamentals and getting steadily better at executing on offense and defense. Our big man situation is a bit iffy – hopefully the grad and juco transfers can provide some help inside. Our depth at guard and point is exceptional (re: talent). Translating talent into teamwork that wins games is the key. Coach White and staff can help this team accomplish this transformation into a true top 10 baskeball team – GO GATORS!!!

  4. In the White offense, there must be at LEAST 2 players who can hit the 3 point shot at 40% or better. Let’s hope Nembs has improved his game and shot. And the 2 frosh have an outside shot. We’ll know in 3 weeks.

    • So I have a new name for the new look O-Dome, “The White House”. That’s awesome huh? Billy D court in The White House.

      Anyway, so I remember cringing every time Nembhard shot early last season. But I thought his shooting improved over the course of the season. Not great but not terrible. He was at 35% for the year from three. As Joe said, statistically better than 50% from two. But I don’t think Nembhard is the issue from a shooting perspective. Andrew needs to be an adequate shooter but we need two other shooters. The shooting guard (obviously) and a wing player that can shoot. That will open things up.