Welcome to Gator Nation, Micah Handlogten! (Photo via Marshall athletics)
Once upon a time, the Florida Gators rode north to Marshall and imported their basketball coach, a young man by the name of Billy Donovan. That move resulted in four trips to the Final Four and a pair of national championships.
Nearly thirty years later, and the Gators made use of that pipeline once again, this time taking big man Micah Handlogten, who averaged 7.6 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Standing an even seven feet tall, Handlogten had interest from quite an impressive bunch of schools. Among the other Power Six basketball schools to offer him were NC State, Auburn, Missouri, and Indiana. Another school to offer him: the Georgia Bulldogs, coached by none other than former Florida coach Mike White.
But Micah Handlogten said no to all of them, and chose to play for Florida.
“I chose Florida because of the opportunity that the University holds,” he told On3 Sports. “They have an opening for a center to come in and play major minutes. After going on my visit, I mesh really well with the players and I love the coaches. I really think I can thrive under there coaching and become a pro at Florida.”
The addition of Micah Handlogten does something to address a massive issue for Florida: the front court. Beside Colin Castleton, the Gators were- and this is stated as respectfully as possible- not very good in the front court a season ago. The misses of Johni Broome (Auburn) and Norchad Omier (Miami) doomed the season before it even began, guaranteeing a lack of depth at the 4 and 5 positions and leaving the Gators with zero room for error if Castleton got not foul trouble or suffered an injury… which he did.
But the work for Todd Golden, while underway, is by no means finished in this aspect. With Castleton gone, there’s still a vacuum that requires at least one more big man for the need to even somewhat be considered filled.
Landing Micah Handlogten, though, is a very good start.