- Grad transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr left Virginia Tech on Friday for the Florida Gators
- Last season, Blackshear averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 50.8 percent overall and 33.3 percent from 3-point range
- The Gators are now viewed as serious threats to win March Madness
The decision by Kerry Blackshear Jr to transfer from the Virginia Tech Hokies to the Florida Gators is reminiscent of the saying that wrestling legend Ric Flair made famous – albeit with a bit of a different spin: If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, Flair is prone to point out.
This time, it’s more a case of Florida wanting to beat the best, so the Gators went out and got the best guy available.
Blackshear was viewed as the top catch among the grad transfer class. As soon as he announced Florida as his destination, the leading college basketball experts were quick to jump on Florida’s NCAA Championship odds.
2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Odds
|Teams||2020 March Madness Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken on 06/26/19.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports moved the Gators into ninth in his Top 25-and-1. Kentucky at #3 is the only SEC team ranked ahead of Florida.
What Blackshear Brings To Florida
After the 6-foot-10 forward withdrew his name from the NBA Draft pool, Blackshear turned down offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas and Texas A&M to join the Gators.
He helped the Hokies to the Sweet 16 last year, where they narrowly lost in a heartbreaker against Duke. Blackshear recorded 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in that game.
The 250-pound Blackshear adds size and post presence to what already figured to be a deeply-talented Florida starting five. Tre Mann is a five-star point guard who can shoot the lights out. Incoming freshman Scottie Lewis is a 6-foot-5 wing who is anticipated to be a one-and-done lottery pick.
— PrepTimeSportsMedia (@preptimesports) June 28, 2019
Sophomore guard Andrew Nembhard was second in the SEC in assist rate as a freshman. Fellow sophomore guard Noah Locke hit 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.
With Blackshear under the hoop, that should help open up Florida’s outside shooting game.
Gators Were Already Good
Coach Mike White has taken his Gators to the NCAA Tournament three times in four years. They went to the Elite Eight in 2017 and won a game last year as a #10 seed.
Kerry Blackshear's addition took @GatorsMBK from around 50-1 to 17-1 to win the championship.
That's the kind of impact player he is. pic.twitter.com/1STTRMmwhe
— BULLGATOR (@BULLGATOR_) June 28, 2019
Florida is suddenly a serious threat to Kentucky for the SEC title. The Gators will be an NCAA tournament team again, and they won’t be seeded 10th.
Could Florida be bound for a return to the glory days when Billy Donovan led them to back-to-back NCAA titles? That could very well be.
The Gators’ odds have already moved from +3500 to +2600. You won’t want to let those odds get any lower without investing a small wager.
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