Gators open season at No. 10 in AP men's basketball poll with three suspended players
For the second consecutive year, the Florida men's basketball team will open the season ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press preseason rankings, but the season will open with more turmoil.
Florida coach Billy Donovan announced today that Damontre Harris and Dorian Finney-Smith are both suspended for the preseason opener Friday night, and will also miss at least one regular season game. Along with senior guard Scottie Wilbekin, who was suspended throughout the spring and summer, that brings to three the number of suspended players for Donovan.
Donovan termed the suspensions "indefinite" for a violation of team rules.
Harris is a junior F/C transfer from South Carolina. Finney-Smith is a sophomore F transfer from Virginia Tech who was a member of the All-ACC Freshman team. At South Carolina in 2011-12, Harris averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds and was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.
Meanwhile, the Gators are one of two SEC teams ranked in the Top 10 of the AP poll.
Kentucky, which ended last season with an opening round NIT loss, is the preseason No. 1, followed by Michigan State.
Defending national champion Louisville is No. 3, followed by Duke, Kansas, Arizona and Michigan. Oklahoma State and Syracuse are tied for No. 8 and the Gators round out the Top 10.
Florida is coming off a 29-8 season in which the Gators advanced to their third straight NCAA Elite Eight appearance.
The Gators will play an exhibition game Friday against Florida Southern, and will open the regular season against North Florida on Nov. 8.