After just one season at Florida, former Gator point guard Braxton Ogbueze appears to have found a home back home at UNC Charlotte.
In four games starting at point guard for the 49ers, Ogbueze is averaging 13 points and 1.8 assists. The Charlotte native scored a career-high 26 points against Penn State and is shooting 45.5 percent (5-11) from 3-point range.
Ogbueze left UF following his freshman season in 2012-13 over playing time issues. He was unable to beat out junior guard Scottie Wilbekin at point guard and played sparingly behind Wilbekin and Kenny Boynton at the point.
Nonetheless, Florida coach Billy Donovan was complementary of the 6-foot-2 Ogbueze when asked about him at SEC Media Days a few weeks ago.
“Loved him as a kid,” Donovan said. “He was as hard of a worker as I’ve ever been around. Loves the game, very committed to his diet, to sleeping, to wanting to be a really good player. I had an enormous amount of respect for him all the way around and I think he’ll have a tremendous career at Charlotte.”
Asked further about Ogbueze’s game, Donovan said: “He can do two things. He shoots the ball extremely well. He can play the point, he can play the two-guard spot. I would not say he’s an explosive athlete, he doesn’t have explosiveness off the floor, on the floor. But he’s really sound. He knows how to play. He’s a good team guy.
“I think he’s got unbelievable leadership qualities. I think there’s a great presence about him. I think guys that will play with him will say, wow, this guy is really committed. This guy really wants to win, this guy is an incredible worker. He’s going to stay in the gym. He’s going to have immediate respect. And I know he sat out last year but I’m sure going into this year they respect his work ethic.”
On the subject of point guards, Donovan broke down some of sophomore point guard Kasey Hill’s struggles from the floor on Monday. Hill is shooting just 3 of 24 from the floor (.125) and 0-2 from 3-point range. His assist-to-turnover ratio is 13 to 8.
“He’s got to finish a lot better, especially at the basket,” Donovan said. “He’s getting in there, certainly for us the last three games, we’ve broken down every shot he’s gotten, it’s not like he’s bombing 3-point shots, he’s taken a couple, I think, maybe one of two. Most of his shots are at 15 feet. Most of his shots have been in the lane.
“He’s got to finish better. He’s got to do a better job. I think he’s got to do a better job waiting on screening actions. I think he’s going off too quick. I think he’s made some rough decisions, especially in transition, where he’s trying to go one-on-four, and trying to use his speed where he probably needs to run our team a little bit. “