Florida dominated in the paint in its mid-week home win over Florida A&M, but the Southeastern Conference basketball team’s concern this Friday moves to the backcourt.
When the Gators (2-1) welcome in-state rival Florida State to Gainesville, they will likely do it with transfer guard Zyon Pullin in the lineup and making his team debut.
Against Florida A&M on Tuesday night, coach Todd Golden’s group held a 10-point halftime lead and went on to rout the visiting Rattlers 89-68, getting eight blocked shots and holding a 15-rebound margin over the visitors.
But when the Florida State comes east, Golden hopes to have Pullin putting points on the board.
A transfer from UC Riverside who was suspended three games for playing in an offseason tournament, the 6-foot-4 Pullin netted 18.3 points per game in his final season with the Highlanders.
The Pleasant Hill, Calif., native shot 48.6 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from 3-point distance, plus averaged more than four assists and four rebounds per game.
“He’s a very talented, mature young man who’s won a lot of games in college and been very productive along the way,” Golden said in June when Florida signed the guard out of the transfer portal. “He has great positional size and plays with great pace and tempo. He will be a great asset to our team this year.”
After a dreadful 9-23 campaign last season during their worst since a 9-21 mark in the 2000-01 season, the Seminoles (2-0) have started strong in wins by identical scores over Kennesaw State and Central Michigan — 94-67.
Darin Green Jr., a 6-foot-5 guard who played his first three seasons at UCF, is averaging 17 points per game.
Most importantly, coach Leonard Hamilton said he can count on his veteran as the group tries to flip the script on last season.
“Darin normally leads by example and is in his teammates’ ears away from the court,” Hamilton said after the win over Kennesaw State. “I thought he played the game the right way tonight.”
Last season’s 23 losses marked the most in program history by Florida State.
–Field Level Media
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