Skip to main content

Florida Gators Basketball 2022-23 Player Profile: PG Kyle Lofton

Examining the past, present and future of each Florida Gators' scholarship basketball player for the 2022-23 season.

Photo: Kyle Lofton; Credit: University Athletic Association (Maddie Washburn) 

There’s an uncharacteristic buzz surrounding Florida basketball in the summer months.

Seeing drastic turnover occur from top to bottom — with head coach Mike White, his assistants and four starters departing from Gainesville — the University of Florida brought in San Francisco head coach Todd Golden to take over at the helm.

While a mass exodus usually indicates that significant time is needed to rebuild, all the right pieces have fallen into the right places. The changing of the guard at the top of the program can serve as the pivotal turning point needed to surge back from the distressing state of mediocrity experienced as of late.

In an effort to reconstruct the program to its former status of consistency and excellence achieved under Billy Donovan, Golden made it a focus to draw in talented transfers to fill the bevy of holes the roster presented.

Adding on to the promising members retained from 2021-22, the Gators have compiled a more-than-capable unit to take the floor next season.

The mixture of new and familiar faces slates them to reconcile the program sooner rather than later under the new leadership.

In anticipation of Golden’s first season in charge, AllGators plans to profile the 12 scholarship players occupying spots on the roster as they look to accomplish that mission in the upcoming season. We will start by examining the backcourt and work into the frontcourt over the next few weeks.

First up in our basketball player profile series is projected starting point guard Kyle Lofton.

Related: Gators Transfer PG Kyle Lofton Ready to Assume Leadership Role with Florida

Player History

Coming out of high school as an unranked guard prospect from New Jersey, Lofton didn’t have a lot of options to choose from when looking for a home to continue his hoops career.

Equipped with four offers from Massachusetts, Manhattan, Quinnipiac and St. Bonaventure, Lofton elected to roll with the Bonnies.

His decision would pay off.

Starting in all 116 games played for the Bonnies, Lofton produced at an exceptionally high level for a guy who came into the fold as undervalued as he had.

Making an impact from game one through game 116, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound ball handler compiled 13.9 points on 42.1% shooting from the field, 5.2 assists, three rebounds and 1.6 steals per game repping brown and white.

His consistency earned him honors as a three-time All-A-10 player, a two-time All-A-10 tournament player and the A-10 freshman of the year in 2018.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

After his senior season in 2021-22, Lofton initially showed a desire to finish where he started, using the COVID year allotted by the NCAA to close out his collegiate chapter alongside the players he entered the fold with in 2018.

However, seeing other members of the dynamic unit enter the portal, Dominick Welch and Jaren Holmes, Lofton and teammate Osun Osunniyi began to evaluate their status for the future. Without the main drawing factor remaining at St. Bonaventure, the rising fifth-year senior entered his name into the transfer portal.

He looked for an elevated stage to display his talents.

Garnering interest from Rutgers, Ohio State, Purdue and Arizona, Lofton initially failed to see Florida as a top contender for his services.

That changed when Golden was able to lure him to campus for an official visit. He fell in love with the program and pledged to the Gators on May 13.

2022-23 Season Role/Projection

It may be Lofton’s first and final year in orange and blue, but his projected role is arguably more prominent than any others on the roster this upcoming season.

He is the engine of the Gators team.

Set to occupy the starting guard spot for the Gators this season, Lofton will be tasked with leading the high-octane, Princeton-style offensive attack Golden and assistant coach Kevin Hovde will bring to the table this season.

Having showcased his skills as an elite facilitator during his four-year college career — culminating in a nation’s 10th-best 5.9 assists per game in 2021-22 — Lofton is the perfect fit to operate as a playmaker in the up-tempo offense.

With his decision-making, he makes up for what he lacks as a shooter on the perimeter, averaging below 30% from beyond the arc in each of the last two seasons.

That ability to make smart decisions with the basketball will be a crucial aspect of his role.

His 2.4 turnovers per game metric suggest he can be that consistent fixture at the guard spot. Lofton’s size and length set him in prime position to potentially be the best two-way player on the squad.

He is willing and ready to take on any task given to him by the staff this season.

“Skill-wise, I think I can do everything a coach wants me to do,” Lofton said earlier this offseason. “Whether it’s facilitate one game, score one game, do for my teammates, whatever my job is, I’m gonna do that.”

For the Gators to achieve the large-scale success that they’re believed they can reach under Golden rather quickly, Lofton will have to produce against them heightened competition the SEC sports the way he did in the A-10.

In addition, Lofton’s role as a leader to groom the likes of guard prospects beneath him on the depth chart, including Trey Bonham and Denzel Aberdeen, will be paramount to sustaining and building off the level of play he realizes while anchoring the backcourt.

Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.