Last season's scariest moment came on a Saturday in December. You likely remember it — that early game when Florida's Keyontae Johnson collapsed face-first on the court against Florida State. At the time, nobody knew how things would turn out. Would he live? If so, would he ever be the same?
Johnson hasn't played since. He might never play again. But the 6-foot-5 forward is still technically a member of Florida's program. So he was on the sideline Sunday when the Gators met Florida State for the first time since that time — and his teammates played like a group inspired by his presence.
"We just played our heart out for him," Florida forward Colin Castleton said after the Gators improved to 2-0 with a 71-55 victory over Florida State. "Everything was for him. … We knew how bad he wanted to play in that game. Talked to him before the game. We could tell maybe he was a little down about it. But he keeps that same mentality. He lifts us and shows his emotion on the bench."
It was reported earlier this month that Johnson holds a $5 million insurance policy through the NCAA that he'll collect if he's unable to pursue a professional career. So his future remains up in the air. In the meantime, Johnson, who was named the SEC Preseason Player of the Year last November, is serving as a de facto member of the coaching staff and contributing to the program in a variety of ways.
His teammates clearly love him.
"You could tell that this game meant an awful lot to them," said Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton. "Coach really had them ready mentally and emotionally, and I thought that they played with a tremendous amount of togetherness."
Florida has replaced Florida State in Monday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Gators' next game is Thursday against Milwaukee.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Drew Timme finished with 37 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 86-74 win over Texas. The Zags' next game is Monday against Alcorn State.||--||28-4|
|Johnny Juzang finished with 25 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 86-77 OT win over Villanova. The Bruins' next game is Monday against Long Beach State.||--||27-8|
|Ochai Agbaji finished with 25 points and six rebounds in Friday's 88-62 win over Tarleton State. The Jayhawks' next game is Thursday against Stony Brook.||--||34-6|
|Villanova squandered a double-digit lead with less than 10 minutes left in regulation in Friday's 86-77 OT loss at UCLA. The Wildcats' next game is Tuesday against Howard.||--||30-8|
|Hunter Dickinson finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 77-48 win over Prairie View A&M. The Wolverines' next game is Tuesday against Seton Hall.||--||19-15|
|Emoni Bates finished with 15 points and four rebounds in Saturday's 90-51 win over North Carolina Central. The Tigers' next game is Tuesday against Saint Louis.||--||22-11|
|Paolo Banchero finished with 18 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 67-56 win over Campbell. The Blue Devils' next game is Tuesday against Gardner Webb.||--||32-7|
|Texas allowed Gonzaga to shoot 54.2% from the field in Saturday's 86-74 loss at The Kennel. The Longhorns' next game is Wednesday against Northern Colorado.||--||22-12|
|Matthew Mayer finished with 14 points and two assists in Friday's 87-60 win over Incarnate Word. The Bears' next game is Monday against Nichols State.||--||27-7|
|Connor Vanover finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's 86-69 win over Gardner-Webb. The Razorbacks' next game is Wednesday against Northern Iowa.||--||28-9|
|Jaden Ivey finished with 27 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 92-67 win over Indiana State. The Boilermakers' next game is Tuesday against Wright State.||--||29-8|
|Jahvon Quinerly finished with 26 points and eight assists in Friday's 104-88 win over South Dakota State. The Crimson Tide's next game is Tuesday against South Alabama.||--||19-14|
|Marcus Sasser finished with 26 points and five assists in Friday's 79-46 win over Rice. The Cougars' next game is Tuesday against Virginia.||--||32-6|
|Oscar Tshhiebwe finished with 14 points and 20 rebounds in Friday's 100-60 victory over Robert Morris. The Wildcats' next game is Tuesday against Mount St. Mary's.||--||26-8|
|R.J. Davis made six 3-pointers and finished with 26 points in Friday's 94-87 win over Brown. The Tar Heels' next game is Tuesday at Charleston.||--||29-10|
|Eric Williams Jr. finished with 19 points and five rebounds in Friday's 86-63 win over SMU. The Ducks' next game is Tuesday against BYU.||--||20-15|
|Jacob Grandison went 7-of-10 from the field and finished with 20 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 71-47 victory over Jackson State. The Illini's next game is Friday against Arkansas State.||--||23-10|
|E.J. Liddell finished with 29 points and five rebounds in Friday's 84-74 victory over Niagara. The Buckeyes' next game is Monday against Bowling Green.||--||20-12|
|Olivier Nkamhoua finished with 23 points and eight rebounds in Sunday's 94-62 win over East Tennessee State. The Vols' next game is Saturday against Villanova.||1||27-8|
|Fatts Russell finished with 22 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 68-57 win over Vermont. The Terrapins' next game is Wednesday against George Mason.||1||15-17|
|Jabari Smith finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds in Friday's 93-65 win over Louisiana Monroe. The Tigers' next game is Friday against USF.||1||28-6|
|Adama Sanogo finished with 20 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 89-54 win over Coppin State. The Huskies' next game is Wednesday against LIU Brooklyn.||1||23-10|
|Kyle Lofton finished with 17 points and five rebounds in Sunday's 69-60 win over Canisius. The Bonnies' next game is Thursday against Boise State.||1||23-10|
|Keve Aluma finished with 20 points and six rebounds in Friday's 77-57 victory at Navy. The Hokies' next game is Monday against Radford.||1||23-13|
|Chevez Goodwin finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in Saturday's 76-71 win at Temple. The Trojans' next game is Tuesday at Florida Gulf Coast.||1||26-8|
|Colin Castleton finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds in Sunday's 71-55 win over Florida State. The Gators' next game is Thursday against Milwaukee.||NR||20-14|
Out: Florida State