Florida shooting guard Riley Kugel makes Jerry West Award watch list

Florida men’s basketball season is just beyond the horizon and fans are eagerly awaiting the opening tip.

Head coach Todd Golden returns to the bench for his second year after an early bounce from the NIT, no thanks to the UCF Knights. The 2023-24 squad is young and formidable, and there are seven transfers helping to fill space on the roster.

One of the young weapons who’s expected to make an immediate impact is sophomore shooting guard Riley Kugel. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame has high expectations for the Orlando, Florida, native, adding his name to the Jerry West Award watch list for the season.

The award is given to the best-performing shooting guard of the season and Kugel joins a watch list with 19 other guards in Division I basketball.

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame president John L. Doleva says the list was carefully chosen by a committee of top college basketball personnel.

“Each of the student-athletes nominated for the 2024 Jerry West Award has the same skillset that made Jerry West a household name, and they should be very proud of this accomplishment,” Doleva said.  “Our committee, alongside Jerry, is honored to watch this exceptional group and work together to narrow down the list as the season progresses.”

Kugel adds to a list of accolades amassed over short time. The sophomore earned a second-team All-SEC nod last week and collected SEC All-Freshman Honors in 2022.

The Florida begins its season on Nov. 6 against the Loyola Marymount Greyhounds inside the the O’Connell Center. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. EDT and will broadcast on the SEC Network+.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire