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BASKETBALL

Florida basketball coach Todd Golden says Micah Handlogten likely to redshirt 2024-25 season

Kevin Brockway
USA TODAY NETWORK

Micah Handlogten is likely to lose next season with Florida basketball.

Gators coach Todd Golden told the media that the devastating injury Handlogten suffered in the SEC Championship game is likely going to carry over into the 2024-25 season, making the big man likely to redshirt.

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Handlogten suffered a compound fracture of his lower left leg in the opening minutes of the SEC Championship loss to Auburn and was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being tended to by paramedics and Florida trainers on the floor. The forward had transferred from Marshall ahead of the 2023-24 season and had served as the Gators' starting center.

"Everything at Vanderbilt went really, really well," Golden said. "We were fortunate to get him in there as quickly as we did. And, just talking to him, it would be best for him to know that he doesnֱt feel pressured to get back quick, which we didnֱt want him to feel anyway. So, when we had that conversation, it was great. It provided clarity to him."

What redshirting means for Micah Handlogten and Florida basketball

Handlogten played his sophomore season last year for the Gators. If he redshirts next season, he would likely still have two years of eligibility left for Florida, starting during the 2025-26 season. Handlogten averaged 5.5 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Gators this past season. Handlogten, who is 7-foot-1, averaged 0.9 blocks per game but was still a deterrent at the rim for opponents. His 3.3 offensive boards per game also proved to be among the best in the nation.

Golden said it was likely Handlogten would redshirt but did not say it was a certainty. The Gators have added two big men in the transfer portal this offseason: Sam Alexis (Chattanooga) and Rueben Chinyelu (Washington State), with Handlogten's injury in mind. Those transfers join sophomore big men Thomas Haugh and Alex Condon, who both played significant minutes in 2023-24.

"Micahֱs such a great dude," Golden said. "Like he helps us recruit these other bigs. Heֱs an awesome young man. But it was good for Micah, good for our program and now he can just pour all his efforts into his rehab and not feel the pressure of ֱI need to try to get back on the court by November.ֱ

"My hope is now, obviously not next year but the year after, he should be an absolute monster, you know as he comes back fully healthy with a lot of confidence on the leg."

Both guards Will Richard and Walter Clayton Jr. have tested the NBA Draft waters but are seen as likely returning to Florida this season. If both return, the Gators could have two open scholarships, following the addition of former FAU standout guard Alijah Martin.