Florida C Micah Handlogten breaks leg in SEC title game


Florida center Micah Handlogten was wheeled off the court with a broken lower left leg just over two minutes into Sunday’s Southeastern Conference tournament final against Auburn on Sunday afternoon.

The Gators lost in the SEC title game and were given a No. 7 seed in the South Region with their next game Friday in Indianapolis against the winner of the Boise State-Colorado First Four matchup.

Head coach Todd Golden said Handlogten would have surgery Sunday night or Monday morning. Golden said Florida never fully regained its composure after losing the big man.

“Losing him so early to such a serious injury, just human nature took over a little bit. Guys were emotional,” Golden said. “We had guys, whether it was players or staff members, in tears on the sideline, just trying to kind of compose ourselves.”

The 7-foot-1 Handlogten went up to grab an offensive rebound and landed hard on his leg. Florida’s training staff stabilized in an air cast before he was lifted onto the stretcher.

Auburn players huddled in front of their bench in apparent prayer for Handlogten. His family went onto the court at a hushed Bridgestone Arena Nashville, Tenn., and emotional teammates surrounded the crying sophomore as he was taken off by stretcher.

He was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

Handlogten, a sophomore transfer from Marshall, was named the 2023 Sun Belt Conference freshman of the year last season, when he finished 11th in the nation in blocked shots per game (2.3) and 16th in rebounding (9.8).

In his first season at Florida, he appeared in 32 games (31 starts) and averaged 5.5 points and 7.1 rebounds over 19.5 minutes per game.

He had two rebounds before his departure on Sunday.