Here’s where Florida basketball stands in Jay Bilas’ updated rankings

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Florida only received four votes in the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll this week, but ESPN’s Jay Bilas thinks the Gators are a borderline top-25 team.

The Gators are ranked No. 29 in the first iteration of The Bilas Index of the new year. Bilas isn’t stressing the loss to Texas Southern too much despite the Tigers being 0-7 at the time, and he appears to be very high on Colin Castleton.

UF’s wins over Ohio State (No. 13) and FSU (No. 56) hold some weight, but the Gators are still only the seventh-highest ranked team on the list. Alabama is ranked No. 14, so a win over the Tide on Wednesday could get Florida into the top 25.

An unsightly loss to Texas Southern will continue to elicit some caution when it comes to the Gators. Still, this is a team with some quality wins (Ohio State, Florida State) and plenty of time to find itself. Colin Castleton is one of the best seniors in college basketball, a consistent double-double threat who is a matchup problem at 6-11, 240 pounds.

With conference play starting up, there might not be as much time for Florida to figure itself out as Bilas suggests. The Gators aren’t getting much love in either major poll, and ESPN has had Florida on the bubble in the last several bracketology updates. No. 8 Auburn and No. 12 LSU come after Alabama for the Gators before closing the month with No. 19 Tennessee.

Mississippi State snuck in ahead of the Gators at No. 26, but the Bulldogs did get a conference win over No. 58 Arkansas last week. Florida’s game against Ole Miss was canceled due to the health and safety protocols and has yet to be rescheduled.

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