Here are some quick observations from Tuesday’s exhibition game between Florida and Lynn University. The Gators defeated the Fighting Knights 89-71.
First things first:
Honestly, this was the first I had heard of Lynn University. The small private school located in Boca Raton has an undergraduate enrollment of just over 2,000. The Fighting Knights went 25-7 last season in the Division II Sunshine Conference.
Note: Florida opened the 2007-08 season with a 101-65 exhibition win over Lynn.
The Floor General:
It starts with the point guard. Andrew Nembhard is the floor general and has clearly taken on a leadership role with this team.
In addition to dishing out six assists, the sophomore led the team with 17 points on 6-11 shooting (4-8 3FG).
In perhaps the most anticipated debut since Mike White took over, Kerry Blackshear didn’t disappoint. Finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds, the grad-transfer was also able to show off his shooting ability as he knocked down 2-4 from deep.
Blackshear was able to play an inside-out game when he and freshman Omar Payne saw the court together.
Speaking of Payne:
Omar Payne is going to be fun to watch. Much has been made of his 7’6 wingspan, and he put it on display Tuesday night. The freshman blocked three shots and showcased his awareness with a pair of putback slams, including an emphatic one midway through the second half. Payne added 9 points on a perfect 4-4 from the field.
Keyontae Johnson may be most athletic player on the team. His first half, fast break dunk got the crowd to their feet. The sophomore finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
The Gators also got solid contributions from freshman guard Tre Mann (13 points), sophomore Noah Locke (9 points, 3-5 on 3FG).
Heralded recruit Scottie Lewis had an efficient night with 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 26 minutes of play. Lewis played unselfishly and did a lot of the little things that helped lead his team to the win.
The Gators didn’t have an answer for Jordan Allen who lit up the scoreboard. Allen made 9-17 three pointers and finished with 35 of Lynn’s 71 points.
Quick stats (Florida):
- FG%: 52
- 3FG%: 48
- FT%: 58
- TO: 17
- REB+/-: +6
- Bench Points: 22
Florida opens the season on November 5 against North Florida. The Ospreys, from Jacksonville, went 16-17 last year and finished 9-7 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Head coach Matt Driscoll enters his eleventh season at UNF.
The Gators defeated the Ospreys 98-66 in Gainesville last November.