Snapshots of a Season to Remember 2016-2017 florida basketball recap

It all began with summer workouts.

New faces: Canyon Barry (top), Eric Hester (bottom left) and Gorjok Gak (bottom right).
Saying "Cheez" (and other smiley things) at Media Day.

Athletic Director Scott Stricklin, mere days after assuming the post, greets the Rowdies before their trek to Jacksonville for the season opener against Florida Gulf Coast.

Without a home court while the O'Dome was being renovated, the Gators barnstormed to Jacksonville, Lakeland, Tampa, Orlando and Sunrise, forging bonds and mental toughness along the way.

Redshirt freshman forward Keith Stone had a breakout performance with 15 points and eight rebounds against Miami in the AdvoCare Invitational at ESPN's Wide World of Sports.

Shy Squad. #besties

Instant Impact: Graduate transfer Canyon Barry came to UF by way of the College of Charleston and wasted no time becoming a force off the bench.

Mike White on Barry: "He just wants to win. He could have chosen some other schools where maybe the coach promises he’s going to start or maybe he plays 38 minutes a game and gets 25 [points] a game. But he decided to become part of something special. He’s as unselfish as you get."

The team saw a few familiar faces on the road.

Washington Wizards star and former UF standout Bradley Beal (top) watched the Gators play in Orlando. So did Rick Barry (bottom), Canyon's father and NBA legend who passed down the art of the underhanded free throw to his son.

The Gators went to New York City in December to face Duke in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Big Apple foreshadowing at its finest.

The team got a chance to explore the city (AKA shop) and meet some fans in the city.

The day before the first home game of the season, players got their first look at their new digs.

Say hello to your new home, fellas.

On Dec. 20, the Gators get a first look at the $64.5 million renovated Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Dec. 21, opening night - what a great Christmas present.

The O'Dome grand opening was a 94-71 defeat of Arkansas-Little Rock before a sellout crowd of 10,655.

Country music singer and UF grad Easton Corbin sang the national anthem.

The Rowdies unfurled their new banner during the Southeastern Conference home opener against Ole Miss.

As with each year, the student section was a vital part of this season's home wins.

The Rowdies needed ponchos when it rained 3s in "Rainesville."

The O'Dome's atmosphere was electric.

Big John Egbunu with one of his big slams.

The Gators wore black uniforms for the first time since 2010 and blacked out Tennessee 83-70 on Jan. 7.

Barry had not one, but two 4-point plays in the 80-76 overtime defeat of Georgia on Jan. 14.

Coach White told his team to go do a conga line of high-fives with the Rowdies after the Georgia win, a tradition that continued through the end of the season.

These were the faces of the team's lone home loss of the season, a 68-66 set back against Vanderbilt on Jan. 21.

That stinging loss, however, was followed by two outstanding road wins.

The Gators rediscovered their mojo (and got their studying in with assistant athletic director Tom Williams) during a five-day swing to LSU and Oklahoma.

Eric Hester totaled 14 points through the team's first 19 games... then went 5-for-5 from the arc at LSU for a career-high 16 points in UF's 106-71 wipeout of the Tigers.

The Gators bombed in a school-record 19 three-pointers and Devin Robinson went for a career-high 24 points.

Then it was on to the Sooner State.

With an extra day on the road, the Gators called on a couple old friends and attended the Oklahoma City Thunder's game against the Dallas Mavericks. Thunder coach Billy Donovan faced off against one of his former players in Dorian Finney-Smith.

Some of the squad on court following the Mavs-Thunder game with "Doe-Doe."

In one of his last games as a TV broadcaster, Coach White and the Gators presented Brent Musburger with a commemorative Gator gift.

Pregame tape review.

Kevarrius Hayes came off the bench to tally career highs of 20 points and nine rebounds to go with three blocked shots in the Gators' 84-52 rout at OU.

Happy Justin Leon.

Beginning with LSU, the team went on its longest winning streak of the season with nine straight.

Chris Chiozza recorded a triple-double — the fourth in UF history — in the 93-54 win against Missouri, the first triple-double by a NCAA Division I player off the bench since 2008. The Gators set a team record for winning a third straight game by at least 30 points.
Want 'Cheez' with that?

Home games against SEC rival Kentucky are always fun — especially fun when ESPN Gameday comes to town.

Rowdies didn't disappoint with their signs.

Even more fun when we're picked to win.

And even MORE fun when we win. The 88-66 blowout was the largest victory margin for UF over UK and the most lopsided loss for a Top 10 Kentucky team in 25 years.

Schuyler Rimmer dunked on Kentucky. #NotAnAlternativeFact
Yeah, that's 3 for 3-Rob!

Senior point guard Kasey Hill had his career game with 21 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Followed by Ws at Georgia (72-60) and home vs. Texas A&M (71-62).

Justin Leon had 18 points in a big win over Texas A&M, the same night John Egbunu rang up his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. But three nights later ...

... Egbunu was lost for the season when he tore his ACL in a win at Auburn.

The Gators pressed on with a road win at Mississippi State, then an 81-66 thumping of South Carolina in the next-to-last home game of the season.

KeVaughn led the team with 26 points, two steals, three assists and seven rebounds against the Gamecocks.

The Rowdies got one big assist, also.

UF's first loss in six weeks came Feb. 25 at No. 11 Kentucky.

"Senior Night" was a spectacular sendoff for Kasey, Justin, Canyon and Schuyler -- and a win over Arkansas.

Gators won 78-65.

Coach White wanted the seniors to say thank you one last time.

Right to Left: Schuyler Rimmer, Justin Leon, Kasey Hill and Canyon Berry wave to the Rowdies during the final timeout.

The regular season ended and the postseason began with losses to Vanderbilt in the state of Tennessee. First, on the Commodores' home floor in the season finale, then in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament just two miles from the Vandy campus.

But then, #MarchMadness began.

Gators went to Orlando as the No. 4 seed in East Region, drawing 13th-seeded East Tennessee State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Many analysts chose UF to be a Round 1 upset victim.

Open practice at Amway Center. Open locker room clowning around, too.

Oh wait -- they won !!!!!

Hello, D-Rob!

You again?

Steal and slam for Kevarrius.

The Gators won 80-65 and Devin equaled his career high with 24 points.

The Gators advanced to play No. 5-seed Virginia and the Cavaliers' vaunted defense. Turned out, the Gators had some defense too.

Florida 65, Virginia 39. Repeat: 39.

The Gators advanced to the Sweet 16 in NYC and a return trip to the Garden.

Guess what. KeVaughn had very little to say.
As Coach and Migos wisely said, they had to "Pipe It Up!"

Off to the Big Apple.

Started the trip with media day and open practice at MSG.

Coach White at the podium and open locker room with SI For Kids and a game of Tonk.
Practice. Talkin' 'bout practice.
Mike White and Duke athletic director Kevin White. Yes, his dad.

Take that, Albert!


Squad at the Sweet 16 in the Garden (except for Keith and KeVaughn hiding in back).

KeVaughn missed eight of his first 10 shots ... then volcanoed for a career-high 35 against the Badgers.

Barry's block in overtime saved the game and set the stage for a one-for-the-ages ending.

Wisconsin led 83-81 with four seconds left in OT. You know the rest.


(If you need a video refresher, or just like to watch it 10 times a day like the rest of us)

How. Did. He. Do. That?

Bench freaks out.

Cheez doesn't.

Happy Gators.

Final score: 84-83.

The Gators solidified their ninth Elite Eight appearance, but one game stood in the way of their sixth Final Four. As fate (and the madness of March) would have it, it'd be against the Gamecocks.

UF led by seven at halftime, thanks to 7-for-12 shooting from the 3-point line.

But in the second half, South Carolina made its run.

After that red-hot first half, the Gators went stone-cold in the second, finishing 0-for-14 from long distance.

Final: South Carolina 77, Florida 70.

The Gators finished the season 27-9 and one victory shy of the Final Four ... but back on college basketball's national stage.

Created By
Courtney Culbreath


Courtney Culbreath, Tim Casey, Kelly Streeter, Adler Garfield, MacKenzie Mayer, Aaron Albright, Greenberry Taylor

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