College basketball is off to a peculiar start this season with top teams repeatedly falling to unranked teams time and time again. We aren’t even into conference play yet!
Florida is one of those top teams that hasn’t quite lived up to their preseason aspirations quite yet. The losses they have had, to be fair, have been to very good teams in their own right (Florida State, UConn, and Butler), but this was supposed to be Florida’s season!
The problem has been the lack of offense they are getting from the guards. Scottie Lewis has been exciting on defense, but Lewis, Andrew Nembhard, and Tre Mann (recently has come back from a concussion) just haven’t put it together yet. There’s still plenty of time as Florida hasn’t even played their 10th game yet. Now that Tre Mann is healthy and seems to be more comfortable coming off of the bench for Florida, hopefully we start to see more production from him.
But the player that we want to discuss today, that has been the main catalyst on offense for Florida, is Kerry Blackshear Jr.
For those who don’t know, Kerry Blackshear Jr. was a star for Virginia Tech before grad transferring to Florida this past summer. He was a 1000 point scorer at VT and hauled down over 600 rebounds. Blackshear constantly came up big late in games and was an absolutely exciting player to watch.
Consistency has been the name of the game for Blackshear during his entire collegiate career as that has certainly carried over to his short tenure in Florida so far.
Through the first 9 games of the season, Blackshear is averaging 13.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. But, if you take away the Saint Joe’s game where he was questionably ejected after just a few minutes of action, his averages more accurately move up to 14.9 points and 9.3 boards per game.
So, let’s talk about the kind of player Blackshear is.
On both ends of the court, he is a bully in the paint. He’s impossible to move if you are trying to back him down and on offense he is almost always going to win the positioning battle. His IQ is off the charts and often makes the defender foul him because of how quickly they find themselves in trouble once KB has established post position.
Don’t let this make you think that he isn’t quick at all though. He can actually run up and down the floor very well for his size, cut off passing lanes at an above average rate for a big, and has a quick first step.
Blackshear has shown the ability to stretch the floor, albeit at a below average clip this year. Still, it’s early and the fact that the defense has to respect his shot from deep is all that he needs to be able to take advantage.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. is one of the top players in the nation without a doubt. This Saturday, we’ll be able to see one of the most exciting games in basketball as Florida will take on Utah State. The Aggies are 10-2 on the year and most importantly now have their best big back in Neemias Queta.
The match-up of 2 future pro basketball players in Queta and Blackshear will be a phenomenal one that you won’t want to miss. Florida and Utah State play at 2:30 PM EST at the BB&T Center in south Florida Saturday December 21st. Once again, you can get cheap tickets to the game by clicking below as you won’t want to miss a chance to see this game live.