Dontay Bassett growing up fast

He’s got some big bodies to lean on in practice and the lessons are coming fast and furious. Florida freshman forward Dontay Bassett is getting big time work in these days going against sophomore Kevarrius Hayes and junior John Egbunu. That should pay off when the season starts.

The big bodies at practice aren’t the only new obstacles to hurdle for Dontay Bassett as he tries to make himself better. The young man is on a workout regimen that is totally new to him and something he can feel is already making him a better player.

“So far it’s been very tough, but an enjoyable experience,” Bassett said of his arrival on campus as a freshman this year. “There is a new system, a new offense and also a new weight lifting program… well new to me. I didn’t lift weights in high school so coming here my body is already starting to transform on and off the court.”

All the time and energy used in being a college basketball player is something that is new as well.

“The toughest part with practice starting is waking up, having class in the morning, then weights in the afternoon, then practice right after,” he said. “Plus I have to sit on top of the school work and everything.”

Bassett believes this is a very talented Gator team that can do some things this year.

“It’s very encouraging, it makes you work harder playing against Kevarrius and John and Kasey (Hill) every day in practice, with workouts and pick-ups and stuff,” he said. “It makes me want to give more to reach that level.”

Hayes is a load. The relentless rebounder and defender, doesn’t take it easy on the rookie. While Egbunu’s size and strength can dominate the guy trying to post him up.

“It’s pretty tough, he has a high motor. He’s everywhere, you gotta watch out,” he said of Hayes.  John is the beast in the paint He’s so strong, you have to be physically and mentally prepared.”

Bassett fits the mold of athletic big man that head coach Mike White wants to continually recruit at Florida.

“I can stretch the floor out,” he said. “I can shoot the ball and put the ball on the ground. I’m a great defensive player, a great communicator on the court.”

And as for what he expects out of this season for himself…

“My role is anything the coach needs me to do I’ll do,” he said. “Get on the court in the first year as a freshman.  I’m trying to do anything to stay on the court.”

“I have expectations for us as a team, but for myself, I just want to win. That is it, just win.”

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