Florida center Micah Handlogten suffers severe ankle injury early in 2024 SEC Tournament final

By OnlyGators.com Staff
March 17, 2024
Florida center Micah Handlogten suffers severe ankle injury early in 2024 SEC Tournament final

Image Credit: UAA

Just as the (6) Florida Gators began competing for their first SEC Tournament championship since 2014, the program suffered a season-ending injury to one of its starters. Sophomore center Micah Handlogten was ruled to have a severe left-ankle injury just about 2 minutes into the game; he was braced and stretchered off the court as the Nashville, Tennessee, crowd went silent with players and coaches from both teams wishing him well.

Handlogten’s injury is officially being termed a fractured lower leg. Blood was seen on the court underneath his extremity. He was sent to the Vanderbilt University hospital for evaluation during the game.

“Gator Nation, Thank you for all of the love and prayers! It has helped more than anyone could imagine,” Handlogten wrote on social media while in the hospital.” Keep supporting the boys so we can make a deep run in the NCAAT! I love you all! ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’™๐ŸŠ”

Handlogten, who joined Florida this offseason from Michigan via the transfer portal, started all but three games for the Gators this season. Though he has not provided much offensively, he’s been a key to the interior defense and rebounding advantage that has led Florida to much success throughout the campaign.

Head coach Todd Golden has used the same starting five for the last 24 games, including against the (4) Auburn Tigers on Sunday afternoon. He will be forced with a tough decision as 2024 NCAA Tournament play begins next week: go with a smaller lineup or insert a more inexperienced big man into the starting five.

Though Handlogten was the starter, freshman forward/center Alex Condon has actually averaged more minutes per game this season (19.9-19.5). It stands to reason that Condon will slide into the starting five with freshman F Thomas Haugh (14.1) getting more minutes off the bench.

Golden’s other option is to elevate sophomore guard Riley Kugel back into the starting five as a win, pushing redshirt senior forward Tyrese Samuel to the five. Kugel started the first 11 games of the season but was pulled from the lineup due to inconsistency and erratic play. However, Golden has been giving Kugel a longer leash as of late.

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