Gators still in evaluating process

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Florida senior guard Jalen Hudson goes for the basket Friday against Charleston Southern in the O'Connell Center. [Alan Youngblood/Staff photographer]

Mike White is still trying to figure a lot of things out.

How to get his shooters going.

Who to play and when to play them?

Whether or not the Florida basketball team can have an inside game on offense.

Who is going to lead his team?

Don’t worry. It’s early.

Florida (1-1) takes on LaSalle (0-2) at Exactech Arena Wednesday night with a team still under construction. The Gators struggled mightily with a loss at Florida State and rebounded with a defensive gem against Charleston Southern.

Wednesday, one last chance for a home game before UF travels to the Bahamas for three tough games in three days.

“Hopefully, sharpen up a little offensively and defensively as we head to the Bahamas,” White said of Wednesday’s game, “but definitely not looking past them.”

The Gators would like to see some shots drop Wednesday after starting the season shooting 26.9 percent as a team from 3-point land.

“It’s important for everybody to see shots go down, but I think we’ll be fine,” said freshman Andrew Nembhard.

Florida would especially like to see seniors Jalen Hudson (2 for 9 from three) and KeVaughn Allen (2 for 8) start finding the mark.

“It starts with me and the staff trying to find ways to get these guys in position,” White said. “We have two high level senior scorers. We have to give them space, give them time and give them opportunities.

“I thought we took a big step (against Charleston Southern). That ball really moved as good as it has since I’ve been here.”

For a team that has had to rely on jump shots the last two seasons, it would be nice to establish an inside game to go with it. Again, that is a work in progress.

“I don’t want to give in to the fact we don’t have an inside scoring presence quite yet,” White said. “Our post players — if they continue to improve — can get it done.

“They need help finding a guy or two who can get it to the rim.

If all we’re relying on are made jump shots offensively you’re probably putting a little pressure on yourself.”

Then there is the rotation of players that at times has looked like hockey lines going in and out of the game. White is pushing a lot of buttons trying to figure out how to use the 12 healthy scholarship players.

“Definitely, early in the season, we’re trying to work together,” said Nembhard. “See where we are as a team. Definitely.”

For the coaches, finding the different roles is a priority in the pre-conference season. So is finding out which players can be counted on.

“I don’t have the answers and when I seem like I have a pretty good grasp on it, it could change the next day,” White said. “Early in the year, I want this team to become as accountable as possible.

“We’re going to utilize our depth for overall accountability. Time will tell how many guys we really ought to be playing. We’re evaluating and at the same time sometimes sending messages.”

LaSalle comes in without a win this season and with a new coach, Ashley Howard, who spent the last five years as the top assistant to Jay Wright at Villanova.

“He’ll have LaSalle rolling,” White said.


Today

Who: La Salle (0-2) vs. Florida (1-1)

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: O’Connell Center

Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850

Online: SEC Network+

PROBABLE STARTERS

FLORIDA

KeVaughn Allen; G; 6-2; Sr.; 7.0 ppg; 1.5 rpg

Jalen Hudson; G; 6-6; Sr.; 10.5 ppg; 2.5 rpg

Andrew Nembhard; G; 6-5; Fr.; 9.5 ppg; 5.0 apg

Keith Stone; F; 6;8; Jr.; 6.0 ppg; 5.0 rpg

Kevarrius Hayes; C; 6-9; Sr.; 4.5 ppg; 5.0 rpg

LA SALLE

Miles Brookins; F; 6-10; So.; 11.5 ppg; 4.0 rpg.

Pookee Powell; G; 6-0; Sr.; 20.0 ppg; 3.5 rpg

David Beatty; G; 6-2; Jr.; 1.5 ppg; 1.5 rpg

Isiah Deas; G; 6-6; Jr.; 19.5 ppg; 3.5 rpg

Traci Carter; G; 6-1; Jr.; 9.0; ppg; 4.0 rpg

NOTES: Tonight is only the second time the two teams have played, the other being a 1989 LaSalle win in New Orleans as Lionel Simmons scored 33 points for the Explorers … Sophomore guard Deaundrae Ballard leads Florida in scoring averaging 12.5 points off the bench … LaSalle played at Temple to open the season, losing 75-67 and fell to Lafayette at home 77-76 … Florida senior KeVaughn Allen is now 26th on the Gators’ all-time scoring list with 1,3111. Next up is Joe Hobbs with 1,331.

— Pat Dooley

8 COMMENTS

  1. So, the SEC NETWORK is showing Kentucky, again. And NOT FLORIDA! I guess they only loved ”Cheese.” No ”Cheese”, no more televised Florida Basketball on SEC or ESPN. North Dakota @ Kentucky on SEC Network, wow, what a game! On-line basketball only for U.F. fans now, all blurry and all. It’s pathetic, so now call the SEC Network for SEC Basketball, ”the BIG BLUE NETWORK!” Go Gators, nonetheless, and chomp-on!

  2. If Coach White wants a better inside game try playing two of our bigger guys at the same time with either two down low or one down low and one around the free throw area, etc! It will open up the floor and create the spacing we need to shot more open shots for Allen, Hudson, etc. which will increase our scoring. It will also increase our offensive rebounding and second chance points. He hasn’t so far this year although it’s only been two games, he didn’t all of last year, but he did in his first year here – a lot. He needs to revisit it for parts of the game or at least try it. If it doesn’t work, move on to something else!

    • Is anyone else not able to get the gator basketball game tonight ? They are showing women’s volleyball on the sec network ; their sec network + which they always tell us our non conference games are on is straight fools gold they sell us that knowing well that there is never anything but the words “direct tv” floating around the sec + channel 24/7 every day a year. I feel like us the consumer is constantly getting screwed out of this is there anyway to get our full non conference basketball schedule but back on fox sports Florida ????? This is rediculous

      • He could have played two of Hayes, Bassett or Gak at the same time last year even though some would say Bassett is not a true big but he is 6′ 9″ and I know Gak was injured some but not all the time and he never did. This year he has Stokes too! White’s first two years here he played two bigs at the same time. It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know.