Florida senior point guard Kasey Hill was a freshman when the Gators won 30 straight games and made a run all the way to a Final Four in 2014.
But for as steady as the Gators were that season in making their fifth Final Four appearance in school history, the 6-foot-1 Hill said he thinks this year’s squad is even better.
“All year I’ve been saying that I think this team is better than that team, honestly,” Hill said. “That team had a lot more seniors and leadership, but athleticism-wise? We’re a lot better. I think this team can go as far as we take it.”
Florida was the number 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament in 2014, led by senior starters Casey Prather, Will Yeguete, Patric Young and SEC Player of the Year and standout point guard Scottie Wilbekin. But the Gators fell to eventual national champion Connecticut 63-53 in the national semifinals. That season, Florida also was the first SEC team to ever make it through an 18 game schedule unbeaten and finished a perfect 21-0 in league play after winning the SEC Tournament in Atlanta.
Hill started eight games as a freshman, but spent most of the year backing up Wilbekin. Hill did make some significant contributions off the bench during the Final Four run, scoring 10 points off the bench in UF’s first tournament game against Albany and matching an NCAA Sweet 16 record with 10 assists against UCLA.
This season, Florida is a 4 seed and at 26-8 will make its 11th Sweet 16 appearance in school history on Friday night in Madison Square Garden against 8 seed Wisconsin (27-9). Hill said he thinks this year’s squad is deeper than the 2014 team.
“That team, also, we had just me and Doe-Doe (Dorian Finney-Smith) coming off the bench, the Final Four year,” Hill said. “This year we have Canyon, (Barry) Cheese (Chris Chiozza), (Gorjok) Gak is playing good for us, Keith Stone. We’ve got a lot more depth this year.”