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Lofton ready to lead Florida, Bonham prepared to learn from the veteran

Pat O'Donnell06/28/22
Article written by:On3 imagePat O'Donnell

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Kyle-Lofton-Florida-Gators
Florida grad transfer guard Kyle Lofton. (Jordan McKendrick/UAA Photo)

With a number of changes to the Gators men’s basketball roster, one of the many questions this offseason was who on the team would step up as the leader in Florida’s backcourt.

In just a few weeks of summer practice and workouts, the void left by Tyree Appleby has been filled. St. Bonaventure transfer point guard Kyle Lofton seemingly stepped into that role comfortably.

Considering his track record, it makes sense. Lofton ran point for the Bonnies in each of his four seasons, averaging a nation’s-best 38.1 minutes per game. He was brought to Gainesville to start yet again.

“Being an older guy here, I think they all pretty much look up to me, so I got to be that leader, put that work in and hopefully they’ll follow,” Lofton told Gators Online’s Zach Abolverdi and others.

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Alongside Lofton is fellow transfer point guard Trey Bonham, who entered the transfer portal after two seasons at Virginia Military Institute. Bonham agreed that Lofton has emerged as the team’s leader when he was asked about his role with the Gators.

“I haven’t really put in too much thought,” Bonham said. “Whatever role they gave me, I’m gonna try to excel in that. But I know Kyle, he’s gonna be the leader. So, I’m gonna just try to follow him and learn as much as I can from him.”

Lofton has significant collegiate experience under his belt, starting all 116 appearances throughout his four years at St. Bonaventure with 1,613 points and 604 assists. Bonham certainly has a tremendous level of respect for the veteran guard.

“We haven’t been on the court too much, but his attention to detail (stands out),” Bonham said of Lofton. “I’m just trying to watch him, watch every little thing he does. We haven’t really done much, but I know his strengths are kind of passing and getting his teammates open and defense. We’ve been just kind of working out, so you don’t really see that yet. But you see his attention to detail.”

RELATED: Trey Bonham transitions from military life to new, normal routine with Gators

Florida transfer guard Trey Bonham. (Jordan McKendrick/UAA Photo)

That level of respect has been reciprocated by Lofton to Bonham in their short time together with the Florida basketball team. Lofton described Bonham as an energetic guy with a unique background — to him, at least.

“I’ve never met a kid from Alabama. I’m straight from Jersey,” Lofton said of Bonham. “He’s a funny kid. Fun, small, energetic. Just good to be around. I can tell he’s a competitor. He wants to get better. He stays in the gym.”

Leadership in the backcourt is something that the Gators have lacked in recent years. With Lofton leading the charge for this upcoming season, his veteran presence could certainly rub off on Bonham and the rest of the team.