Anthony Duruji is one of Florida's players to watch at NCAA Tournament

Graham Hall
UF basketball writer

Having seen considerable action his first two seasons at Louisiana Tech prior to transferring to UF before the 2019-20 season, Anthony Duruji’s much-awaited debut started slowly as the Germantown, Maryland, native dealt with conditioning issues after recovering from COVID-19 in November. He would bounce back, however, and had a season-high 16 points in Florida’s win over LSU on Jan. 2. He replaced Keyontae Johnson is the Gators' starting lineup.

Live updates:Florida Gators vs. Oral Roberts in second round of NCAA Tournament

Duruji throws down monstrous dunk vs. Virginia Tech in first round

Duruji scored nine points in Florida's overtime win over Virginia Tech in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The loudest of those came early in overtime when he jammed one in over the Hokies' Keve Aluma.

Duruji added five rebounds before fouling out.

Duruji overcoming COVID-19 issue

Meanwhile, Duruji continued to work his way back into form, and his progress was evidenced by the return of his rim elevation in several highlight-reel alley-oops, but the Gators continue to tinker with the starting line-up as conference play progressed. Duruji, born July 22, 1998 in the Bronx, New York, started in all but four of UF’s contests in 2021, averaging 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds an outing. 

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The 6-foot-7, 220-pound junior forward earned 2018 Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors and followed that up by starting all 33 games as a sophomore and posting 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Played in 65 games with 52 starts over two seasons at Louisiana Tech, averaging 9.7 points and 5.1 rebounds to go along with 85 blocked shots.