Florida basketball: Three takeaways from Tuesday's open practice

Kevin Brockway
Gator Sports

Three takeaways from Florida basketball's open basketball practice on Tuesday:

Riley Kugel impresses on both ends of the floor

Freshman guard Riley Kugel ran with the first team in practice and was impressive on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, Kugel blanketed senior guard Myreon Jones throughout most of the scrimmage portion of practice, making it hard for the former All-Big Ten standout to get his shot off.

Offensively, Kugel scored on drives to the basket, a put back off an offensive rebound and a 3-point shot. The 6-foot-5, 207-pound Kugel has a strong body and uses it to his advantage on the court.

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"I’ve been in the gym a lot working on my game and also in the weight room," Kugel said. "I balance the two.” 

Riley Kugel as he announced on Instagram that he chose the Gators.

Todd Golden likes growth but says there is more room to grow

First-year Florida coach Todd Golden said the Gators have shown growth from a toughness standpoint over the past three months with screening and rebounding, but still thinks there's room to grow.

"That was transparently a big weakness for this team last year," Golden said. "I think they were 330th in the country (331 in defensive rebounds a game) in defensive rebounding percentage, which for a place like Florida should never in a million years happen. It’s definitely a concern of ours. We want to make sure we address it going into the regular season.”. 

Kyle Lofton still sidelined with groin injury

Point guard Kyle Lofton (groin) remains out. Golden expects him to return the middle of next week.

"We’re being super careful and obviously we don’t play a game that’s meaningful for another three and a half weeks, so I think we don’t need to bring them back while there’s even a shadow of a doubt in regards to them being more likely to reinjure themselves," Golden said. "So just super patient."

Sophomore guard Will Richard (ankle) didn't scrimmage but took part on non-contact drills. Richard was impressive making both set shots and shots of the dribble from beyond the 3-point line during a pre-practice shootaround.