Gators Land Transfer Micah Handlogten

Florida landed another transfer portal target on Monday as center Micah Handlogten announced his commitment to the Gators. 


Handlogten, son of former NBA player Ben Handlogten, just completed his freshman year at Marshall where he averaged 7.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Playing his pivotal final years of high school and AAU basketball during the worst stretches of COVID, Handlogten wasn’t able to get the recruitment he likely deserved but putting up big numbers in the Sun Belt put him on the radar of multiple high-major teams including the Gators.


Analytically, Handlogten jumps off the page in a number of categories. When it comes to rebounding, he was 27th in the country in defensive rebound rate and 41st in offensive rebound rate. When it comes to blocking shots–27th in the country. Finally, when it comes to effective field goal percentage, Handlogten came in at 9th in the entire country. With Florida’s coaching staff being analytically minded and interested in numbers such as these, Handlogten was going to be a player that they knew they needed to target.

Ultimately, Handlogten chose the Gators over NC State, Georgia, Auburn, Missouri, Virginia, Arkansas, and Indiana. 


With the departure of multiple frontcourt players there are minutes to be had, and Handlogten will likely push for a starting spot. Riley Kugel returning and the Gators seeking more offensive firepower in the backcourt means that they might not need much offensive usage from the center position, meaning Handlogten could fully embrace the role of shot blocker and rebounder while not commanding a ton of the ball offensively. The SEC has seen a lot of extremely successful centers in that archetype, and if Handlogten wants to embrace that role he things could go very well for him and the Gators.


Another area where Handlogten will fit at Florida is defensively in the pick and roll. The Gators play a conservative “drop” pick and roll coverage that requires size and length from their centers, and Handlogten looks like the prototypical build for that style. Marshall also played the same pick and roll coverage, so there won’t be much adjustment from a schematic standpoint when he gets to Gainesville. 


Florida is still looking to add another center to the roster which could open up the opportunity for the style of bully ball that Todd Golden’s teams played at San Francisco. Playing two traditional centers next to each other meant that San Francisco could dominate the paint and the glass–something that the Gators didn’t do last season but is something Golden is desperate to improve. 


One of the most valuable elements of Handlogten is the fact that he has three years of eligibility remaining. Florida sees him as someone who can contribute right away, but also someone who can get a whole lot better. Often with transfers teams are hoping for one year of production, but it’s possible that the Gators just landed themselves three years of production with the addition of Handlogten. Looking across the landscape of college basketball centers like Handlogten are sticking around for their entire eligibility, so it could be that the Gators have a key piece of their frontcourt rotation looked in for years to come. 


With Handlogten locked up, all eyes will go to guard Walter Clayton who will make his decision between Florida and St. John’s on Tuesday.

Eric Fawcett
Eric is a basketball coach and writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His work has been found at NBA international properties, ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @ericfawcett_.