Florida indicators Bonaventure guard Kyle Lofton

(Photo: G Fiume / Contributor, Getty)

Florida basketball coach Todd Golden made another big splash in the transfer portal, adding former St. Bonaventure guard Kyle Lofton to his roster, the program announced Friday.

Lofton, who was regarded as one of the top remaining players in the NCAA transfer portal after earning All-Atlantic 10 honors each of the last three seasons, has the potential to make a significant immediate impact on the Gator basketball program. The 6-foot-3 point guard accumulated 1,613 points and 604 assists over the last three years, starting all 116 appearances throughout his four seasons with the Bonnies. In that three-year stretch, Lofton posted a .421 field goal percentage and shot at an 82 percent clip from the free-throw line.

“We are excited to bring Kyle into our program here at Florida,” Golden said. “Kyle has experienced a lot of success both from a team and individual standpoint during his time at St. Bonaventure. He’s a proven winner and leader. He makes others around him better and cares only about one thing: winning.”

An efficient scorer, Lofton’s biggest strength has been his ability to distribute to others, something he did particularly well last year when he helped the Bonnies to a 23-10 overall record despite facing the 87th-hardest schedule in Division I college basketball, according to KenPom. Lofton’s 28.4 assist rate ranked No. 97 among all qualified Division I players regardless of position, something that will be critical in Golden’s offense, which asks players to maintain a quick offensive pace while searching for high-percentage looks.

“You recruit to what you want to coach,” Golden said during his introductory press conference. “We’re going to look for really smart, motivated student-athletes. Obviously, high, high-level basketball players, guys that have great attitudes, great work ethics. Most importantly, that really want to be at the University of Florida. “

“I can’t speak to that enough. Obviously, I want guys to come and play for me and my staff, but I want them to be passionate about being here, about making this place great, and so we’re going to go out on the trail and tirelessly look for guys that fit that mold. We’re going to try to recruit the best. We’re going to go for the best players in the country. the State of Florida and make sure that we’re involved with every great student-athlete within this footprint, and then we’ll go regionally. We’ll look internationally. We’ll look in the portal. need to do. The main key is to recruit highly motivated student-athletes that are great basketball players that are passionate and prideful for being here at the University of Florida.”

Golden has done a tremendous job with roster management since taking over the program just a short time ago. The 36-year-old coach has now added four transfers as well as retain the services of sophomore guard Kowacie Reevessenior forward Colin Castleton and senior guard Myreon Jonesall of whom at least considered leaving the program after former coach Mike White left it for the same role at Georgia. Without Lofton factored into the ranking, Florida sits at No. 8 overall in the nation in transfer recruiting.

In addition to Lofton, Golden has brought in former Belmont guard Will Richardformer VMI guard Trey Bonham and former LSU forward Alex Fudgeall of whom have multiple years of eligibility remaining.

A 6-foot, 170-pound guard from Mobile, Alabama, Bonham averaged 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last year and recorded a 47.8 field goal percentage and 82.6 percent clip from the free-throw line.

Bonham was the Keydets’ top passer with a 28.5 percent assist rate, the 94th highest mark among qualified Division I basketball players last year. He also drew 5.1 fouls per 40 minutes.

Bonham appears to be a strong fit for Golden’s fast-paced style of basketball which asks players to quickly search for and take high-percentage shots on the offensive end. The system also asks players to focus on The amount of consecutive scoreless possessions they can create on defense while maintaining at least an eight percent rebounding differential between them and their opponents, each aspect playing a significant role in the team’s overall win probability in a given contest.

Richard averaged 12.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game this year for the Bruins. Fudge averaged just 13.9 minutes per game last year, though he is a former four-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class, ranked No. 57 overall in that cycle.

Golden’s additions and returners position the program well after it lost guard Tyree Appleby (transfer), forward Tuongthach Gatkek (transfer) and forward Anthony Duruji (NBA draft).

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