Florida basketball: Dontay Bassett, Gorjok Gak enter transfer portal as players weigh options

By Adam Silverstein
March 16, 2020
Florida basketball: Dontay Bassett, Gorjok Gak enter transfer portal as players weigh options
Basketball

Image Credit: UAA / Tim Casey

With an up-and-down 2019-20 Florida Gators basketball season ending early due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are already getting an early look about what the team may look like next season and beyond. In just the first few days since the season was officially deemed over, two Florida basketball players have decided to enter the transfer portal.

Junior power forward Dontay Bassett, who averaged just 6.8 minutes per game over 17 appearances this season, entered the transfer portal on Monday, according to Jeff Goodman. Bassett finished with just 21 points and 29 rebounds on the campaign, and he was not expected to be a major contributor next season.

After serving as the primary reserve in the post two seasons ago, Bassett was likely to move to the fourth spot on the depth chart in 2020-21 thanks to the emergence of freshmen Omar Payne and Jason Jitoboh. He is expected to leave the program with his degree, meaning he will be able to enroll elsewhere and play immediate as a graduate transfer.

Just as a lower leg injury delayed Bassett’s progression at the start of this season, redshirt junior center Gorjok Gak was ruled out indefinitely with a shoulder injury back in October 2019 after suiting up for a total of 11 minutes. This after he missed the entire 2018-19 season with a knee injury.

Though head coach Mike White expected Gak to suit up at some point this season, he decided to transfer in December 2019 and officially entered the transfer portal a few days ago. White was privately displeased with Gak’s decision and believed his absence added to Florida’s struggles considering that he was supposed to be a primary reserve this season.

“I can gladly say I have had nothing but good experiences here at the University of Florida,” Gak wrote on Twitter. “… I have officially decided to enter my name into the transfer portal & hopefully find the right situation for me to go elsewhere for my final year of college.”

Gak and Bassett respectively mark the fourth and fifth frontcourt players to leave the Gators over the last 16 months, joining Chase Johnson (Dayton), Keith Stone (Miami), Isaiah Stokes (Memphis).

Three-star PF Osayi Osifo (Cocoa, FL), the No. 5 junior college transfer in the nation, has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the program as one of three early enrollees next season.

With graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr.’s eligibility expiring, Florida will most likely start Payne in the post next season without much depth behind him.

Sophomore forward Keyontae Johnson and sophomore point guard Andrew Nembhard are the most likely players who will face significant NBA decisions this offseason. Freshman guard Scottie Lewis will also get looked at and could make a jump, though he has a ton to gain by returning to the Gators.

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