After earning 7.4 minutes per game in 20 appearances as a true freshman, it would appear Florida Gators forward Samson Ruzhentsev is looking for more.
That led Ruzhentsev to depart from the program following his lone season in Gainesville and sign with KK Mega Basket, a professional team located in Belgrade, Serbia that competes in the Adriatic Basketball League. Mega Basket confirmed the signing on Wednesday morning.
"Another hot prospect is joining Mega Basket crew," Mega Basket wrote in a team release. "The Belgrade club announced that it has penned a deal with 19-year-old Russian forward Samson Ruzhentsev."
From an immediate impact standpoint, Florida isn't exactly losing a ton with Ruzhentsev going out the door. In the 2020-21 season, the 6-foot-7, 192-pound wing averaged just two points and 0.7 rebounds per game, connecting on 34.1 percent of his shots including a 46.2 mark from two-point range.
However, what the Gators will lose out on is Ruzhentsev's potential, something the team could have eventually benefitted from.
Ruzhentsev is the seventh member of Florida's 2020-21 team to officially leave the program, as guards Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis entered the 2021 NBA Draft while guard Noah Locke and Ques Glover and forwards Omar Payne and Osayi Osifo entered the NCAA transfer portal in April, quickly finding new homes.
The Gators signed four players from the portal as well to balance out the roster turnover, but will also depend on the players that have been in the system to help make the team cohesive moving forward, given the nature of attrition. Ruzhentsev could have helped in that department after a year at UF.
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