Gators to face Tampa in final tuneup

Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes during the first half of an exhibition basketball game in Jacksonville. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Florida showed dynamic offensive stretches in its charity exhibition win over Jacksonville on Thursday night.

The Gators will look to carry over that high efficiency on offense, minus starting point guard Chris Chiozza, in their final exhibition tuneup Sunday at the O’Connell Center against Division II Tampa.

Chiozza suffered a sprained left shoulder early in the Jacksonville game that will force him to sit out seven to 10 days. The 6-foot senior from Memphis could be back in time for UF’s season opener on Nov. 13 against Gardner-Webb.

Without Chiozza for most of the game, the Gators still managed to click offensively in an 88-47 win at Jacksonville on Thursday night. Florida scored 51 points in the second half, made 12 3-pointers and outscored Jacksonville 19-2 in fast-break points. Florida also outscored JU 25-2 in points off turnovers.

“We can really get it done once we get the defensive going, get those transition 3s,” Florida senior forward Egor Koulechov said.

Chiozza’s injury will give Florida a chance to further evaluate junior KeVaughn Allen and freshman Michael Okauru at the point guard position. The 6-foot-2 Allen had 17 points and six assists to just one turnover in the Jacksonville win.

“They handled it well,” Koulechov said. “KeVaughn is going to play some point for us this year, he’s had a great past couple of weeks of practice where he’s been better.”


Who: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. Tampa Spartans

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: O’Connell Center/Exactech Arena

TV: None

Radio: Streaming SEC Network Plus


 G;KeVaughn Allen;6-2;So.;14.0 ppg; 2.4 rpg

G;Jalen Hudson;6-6; RJr.;8.4 ppg;3.9 rpg

G;Egor Koulechov;6-5; GSr.;18.2 ppg;8.9 rpg

F;Keith Stone;6-8; RSo.;3.6 ppg;2.2 rpg

C;Kevarrius Hayes;6-9; Jr.;6.2 ppg;4.4 rpg


G;Pat Bacon; 6-0;Sr.;12.9 ppg;3.3 rpg

G;Freddy Ibrahim;6-3; Jr.;5.0 ppg;3.7 apg

F;Marcel Robinson; 6-5;Sr.;14.2 ppg;4.5 rpg

F;Duke Shelton;6-8;Sr.;14.0 ppg;9.6 rpg

C;Nikola Marijan;7-1;Jr.;3.0 ppg;1.9 rpg

Notes: Florida is ranked in the preseason top 10 for the 12th time in the last 17 seasons. … The Gators went 9-1 in 10 home games last season following the $64.5 million interior renovation of the O’Connell Center. … Florida freshman 6-5 swingman Deaundrae Ballard scored 11 points off the bench in UF’s 88-47 charity exhibition win against Jacksonville. … Fellow UF freshman 6-9 Chase Johnson sat out the Jacksonville exhibition game due to concussion protocol but could return for the Gators on Sunday against the Spartans.</b>.

— Kevin Brockway



    • it’s an athletic championship school, one of the best athletic programs in country, competitive in all sports, ranked in the top 10 nationally almost every year, winning championships not only in football (3) but also basketball, baseball, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, softball, the list is long and distinguished, something Alabama and FSU fans will never get to experience, their programs go dormant after football season.