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Florida Gators Basketball 2022-23 Player Profile: Wing Kowacie Reeves

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

Photo: Kowacie Reeves; Credit: Zach Goodall

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 before November arrives.

We have analyzed Kyle Lofton, Trey Bonham, Denzel Aberdeen, Myreon Jones and Niels Lane and Will Richard thus far. Today, after a short break from the series, we return to highlight the star of the Gators unit in 2022-23 by examining wing Kowacie Reeves.

Related: Three Takeaways from Gators Hoops Summer Practice

Player History

Unlike many of the others on this list, Reeves' path to Florida was seamless.

Committing under the previous staff six months before he signed his letter of intent to attend the University, Reeves showed the unwavering desire to operate at the next level in orange and blue.

Coming out of Westside High School (Macon, Ga.), Reeves was the second-highest scorer in the state during his senior year. Averaging a near double-double with 27 points and 9.9 rebounds per game as a senior, he quickly became another high-level recruit that the Gators were able to draw in under the previous regime. 

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He earned lofty expectations for his career at the University of Florida as a result. His production in year one started slow but before it began to align with the highly regarded assumptions for his play coming out of high school in the back half of the year.

However, that promise for the future was nearly overshadowed by offseason drama following the big coaching change in Gainesville.

Following the overnight exit of White from Florida to Georgia, Reeves briefly contemplated his entry into the transfer portal. However, despite the buzz that top programs around the nation would inquire about his services if he did hit the open market, Golden re-secured Reeves' commitment to the program, providing the staff with a vital building block.

Reeves gears up to take on a starring role for the Gators in 2022-23 as a result.

2022-23 Season Role/Projection

The star of the bunch.

Appearing in 29 contests a season ago, starting 10, Reeves flashed elite-level potential on the offensive end. Despite accounting for just 5.5 points on 37.9% from the field and 1.4 rebounds per game, Reeves' late-season stretch separated him from the pack of middling collegiate scorers into the upper tier.

He logged multiple 14-point games and was the catalyst to an improbable second-half comeback in the SEC Tournament to force overtime against Texas A&M. His 21 second-half and overtime points gave the Gators a chance in a game that looked to be out of hand when they went down by 16 after halftime with 15:39 left in the contest.

His prowess as a three-point shooter shined through as he knocked down two with under 40 seconds left to add to his 32 total three-pointers made as a freshman. When looking back, that game was the turning point for Reeves. It solidified what his role will be this season.

He's going to be the guy at Florida. But, what does that mean?

In all likelihood, the offense — when in the halfcourt — will primarily operate through Reeves with a bevy of sets designed to create open looks for him off-ball. Given his length and confidence to let the ball fly from anywhere on the court, Reeves can rise above defenders and knock down difficult shot attempts on a consistent basis.

In that regard, he's similar to current NBA star Kevin Durant, who is a lethal jump shooter with a high release point. Although Reeves doesn't possess the same skills off the dribble, his size and elevation make him a difficult assignment for opposing defenders.

To reach his highest potential, the Georgia native will need to show his progression as a defender and off-the-dribble toward the basket. He showcased the explosiveness to attack the rim on multiple occasions in the Gators' first NIT matchup against Iona in 2021-22 with emphatic slams over Gaels defenders to put an exclamation point on the outing.

With Golden and Co. maximizing his presence on the offensive end this season, Reeves is slated to take on a pivotal role as the headlining act at Florida. His play, at its peak, could result in a first-round label in the upcoming NBA Draft.

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