Florida basketball: Dontay Bassett becomes second Gators big man sidelined

By Michael Phillips
October 25, 2019
Florida basketball: Dontay Bassett becomes second Gators big man sidelined
Basketball

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath, UAA Communications

As the 2019-20 season draws closer, the pressure is beginning to mount for No. 6 Florida Gators basketball. Unfortunately for Florida, expectations for the team will not get knocked down a peg even though head coach Mike White’s squad has suffered another blow before games have even begun.

Junior forward Dontay Bassett has joined junior center Gorjok Gak on the injured with a knee injury, White announced Thursday.

“Dontay has been out,” White told the media. “Dontay has a … hoping it’s a minor knee [injury]. Hoping it’s a bruise. That’s what [Florida head trainer Duke Werner] sees it as of right now. So we are a little banged up.”

If you look at White’s track record, you know he’s had terrible luck when it comes to the health of his frontcourt. With Bassett and Gak both possibly out to start the season, the Gators have suddenly become extremely thin at the big-man spots.

Graduate transfer F Kerry Blackshear Jr. will be relied upon heavily, but a few freshmen will be asked to grow up quickly in order to be ready for the season’s tip-off. 

“In the meantime, Omar Payne and Jason Jitoboh, we [would] like to see them play like sophomores,” White said. “Unfortunately, they have no idea what is about to hit them. But they have been really good at practice in terms of developing, progressing. Both of them have high ceilings.”

White also noted Thursday that freshman guard Ques Glover “has a finger issue” he is working through. 

Florida is well-versed in dealing with a plethora of injuries under White, especially in the frontcourt, and the big additions this offseason will help with that issue. 

Once again, though, the Gators are behind the eight ball when it comes to their health heading into the season. The statuses of Bassett and Gak, the latter of whom is out indefinitely with a dislocated shoulder, are something to keep an eye on as the 2019-20 season nears.

Florida has an exhibition game set against Lynn on Tuesday before it hosts North Florida in the season opener one week later on Nov. 5.

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