In its preparation for the 2022-23 season, Florida will play “secret scrimmages” against Miami and Jacksonville, multiple sources told Swamp247.
The Gators are set to host the Hurricanes in Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Oct. 22 in a matchup that should provide a competitive atmosphere.
The Canes are coming off their best season in recent years in which they went 26-11 overall and 14-6 against ACC opponents. Miami managed to charge its way into the Elite Eight last season where it lost to eventual national champion Kansas.
While the Canes put together a great season overall, repeating that success could be a reasonable challenge this year after they lost two of their top four scorers, including leading scorer Kameron McGusty, who averaged over 17 points per game in the 2021-22 campaign. Miami also lost its No. 3 scorer, guard Charlie Moore. A journeyman who had played experience at Cal, Kansas, DePaul and Miami in his five-year collegiate carer, Moore averaged just over 12 points per game a year ago.
Florida’s second scrimmage will come on the road when it plays at Jacksonville on Oct. 29, the same day that Florida will take on Georgia in football in the same city.
While Jacksonville will offer a less competitive opponent for the Gators than Miami, it will be an opportunity for head coach Todd Golden’s Florida team to take on a school being led by a former Florida staff member, Jordan Mincy.
A 36-year-old coach from Memphis, Tennessee, Mincy served as a Gator assistant from 2015-21 and earned his first head coaching opportunity for the 2021-22 season in which his team went 21-10 overall and 11-5 in ASUN play.
Golden will coach his first game at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Monday, Nov. 7, against Stony Brook, which finished its season with an 18-13 overall record.
The Gators are then set to host Kennesaw State (Nov. 11) and Florida Atlantic (Nov. 14) before visiting Florida State on Nov. 18. All three of the aforementioned teams finished their previous campaign ranked outside the top-100 programs in the KenPom rankings. Florida is slated to travel to Portland the following week where it will take part in the Phil Knight Legacy event with three games from Nov. 24-27. The Nike-sponsored tournament will include three games against a field of Duke, Gonzaga, Oregon State, Portland State, Purdue, West Virginia and Xavier, marking the toughest stretch of the Gators’ non-conference schedule and an early opportunity to earn some postseason summary points.
Upon returning from the West Coast, the Gators will host in-state foes Florida A&M (Nov. 30) and Stetson (Dec. 4) before welcoming UConn on Dec. 7. While Florida A&M and Stetson should not pose much of a threat to the Gators, UConn is coming off an excellent season in which it won 23 of its 33 contents, good enough to earn the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Florida then has a pair of neutral-site contests, with its game against Ohio in Tampa on Dec. 14 followed by a visit to Charlotte on Dec. 20 for the Jumpman Invitational, where they will face Oklahoma for the second-straight year.
Florida rounds off its non-conference schedule with a road game at Kansas State in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Jan. 28. Kansas State finished the 2021-22 season ranked No. 61 in KenPom despite its 14-17 overall record. The matchup is a part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Wildcats are expected to return All-Big 12 honorable mention selection Markquis Nowell (12.4 points per game and 5.0 assists per game) and junior Ish Massoud (6.8 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game) in 2022-23.