Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence shooting guard Grayson Allen made the trip to the Gainesville on Jan. 19 to attend his first Florida Gators basketball game against Missouri in a conference showdown.
The class of 2014 prospect didn’t expect the game to be so one-sided, but was impressed with how the Gators played throughout.
“Well, I expected it to be a lot closer,” the 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard said about the Gators’ 83-52 win, “but Florida shut them down and executed pretty well offensively.”
Saturday’s matchup against Missouri marked the first sellout of the Gators’ basketball season. For a fan base that often faces criticism for its support, the Rowdy Reptiles made their presence known during the game, even breaking out in a “flash mob” during one of the breaks in action.
“[The atmosphere] was great. It was louder than I expected,” Allen said. “There is no way the television did it justice.”
Although Allen had previously visited Florida’s campus in August, this was his first game he had attended at Florida. The perspective from his seat allowed him a closer look at how Florida utilizes the guard position.
“It was my first ever Florida game so I got a better feel for what it would be like to be a Gator,” Allen said. “And I got to watch how closely they used their guards.”
“How they use their guards is exactly how I play by playing a little up tempo and with a lot of ball screens,” he added.
After the game, Allen had the opportunity to speak with some of the coaches, including coach Billy Donovan. Allen said the coaches mainly talked with him about how he would fit in their offense if he chose to attend Florida.
Along with his relationship with the coaching staff, Allen has another connection the Florida basketball program. He attends Providence School, where current Gators center Patric Young went to high school. The two talk every now and then, but Allen said Young has mainly stayed away from recruiting him to Florida.
“We have a pretty good relationship,” Allen said. “We talk every once in a while. He’s mentioned [Florida] a couple times to me, but he doesn’t really talk about that.”
Allen plans on getting back to Gainesville for another game later this season.
“Florida stands high for me. I definitely have a strong interest in them,” Allen said.