Florida made a huge announcement on Thursday afternoon “postponing” their three remaining non-conference games against Florida Atlantic, Florida A&M, and James Madison.
The announcement came from Scott Stricklin, as seen in this tweet:
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) December 17, 2020
I say “postponing” because at this point it’s unlikely those games will be made up. The SEC season starts on December 30th against Vanderbilt, and the last of the games against James Madison was set to take place on December 22nd. Now, there is a chance the Gators would look to play games after Christmas as you are seeing teams playing on December 26th through to the new year. Hypothetically the Gators could look to play a game or two between the 26th and 30th when they open up against Vanderbilt, but that would make things a bit tight if they wanted to get more than one in.
However, in the message Stricklin said “ahead of the start of the new year” which doesn’t imply the Gators will be looking to do much more in the month of December. The Gators very well might end up heading into conference play off a long hiatus, but I could see them trying to get one of those non-conference games rescheduled for something like December 27th to shake the rust off before conference play. If they didn’t end up playing any more games before Vanderbilt on the 30th the Gators will have gone 18 days without a game, plenty of those days also not consisting of a practice, which also makes the layoff pretty difficult from a basketball standpoint.
Of course, with this whole situation basketball is secondary to the primary matter at hand–the health of Keyontae Johnson. With a situation like this what’s best for the on the court basketball product doesn’t really matter, and if the team ends up entering SEC play off a long break and looking sloppy, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Updates on the situation will continue to come in periodically, and here at Gator Country we will continue to share reliable information as it comes in as expediently as possible.
Keyontae Johnson, his family, his friends, and his teammates remain in our thoughts and prayers.