December 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm #40856
”The Gators had never been invited to the NCAA basketball tournament in over seven decades of basketball. However, they made the field during each of Dwayne Schintztius’ three full seasons with the program, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in 1987.
During his junior year, the Gators won their first-ever regular season SEC championship. Dwayne Schintzius was recognized as a first-team All-SEC player after that season…” -Wikipedia.
And so the lesson is people, the above is what a TRUE BIG MAN, like Dwayne Schintztius , can bring to a basketball program. Even a program like the Univ. of Florida. Which had very little basketball success up to that point in the mid 80’s. And, thankfully, I can say, ”I watched it all with my own eyes.”
So Coach White, while I understand that 7 footers don’t grow on trees, the 6′ 8” to 6′ 11” guys are around in the world. Now more than ever, it’s your job at the UNIV. of FLORIDA MEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM to find them, recruit them, sign them, and enhance their skills, so hopefully they’ll land themselves a career in the NBA, and a college degree (not in that order necessarily).
December 13, 2018 at 8:58 am #40881
Florida is presently missing, and missed greatly while he was here with a knee-injury during his last year at U.F., big John Egbunu. Where is Mike White’s Patric Young, John Egbunu, Justin Leon, or even his Casey Prather type recruit presently? I hear he has a 4 star 6′ 8” forward coming next year, which will help. But Coach White’s had 2 ”one year transfer recruits” who have made up the difference in the big man problem during Coach White’s U.F. career to date. Especially since he immediately began losing Billy D’s players. Like the 3 point shooting Russian, Egor Koulechov, a ”graduate transfer” last year. And there was Canyon Barry the year before, who made up for U.F.’s lack of inside play at Florida. But the cold truth still remains, John Egbunu, Casey Prather, even (G) Chris ”Cheese” Chiozza were all, in fact, Billy ‘D’s recruits.
Just maybe this is Coach Mike White’s preferred coaching style, smaller big men, forward types, along with a team dependent on hot shooting guards. But the burning questions still remains, what happens when the shots don’t fall in long stretches?
While I love Mike White’s coaching style when he has a complete roster, he went to the ”Elite 8” in his 2nd year at U.F. with Coach Billy D’s guys. But Coach Mike White did, in fact, take those Billy ‘D’ players to another level. No one can doubt that! And that is the hope for the future with Florida Basketball.
But as of today, there aren’t any big men who can stay healthy and contribute more than ‘4’ points a game. Which was the 4 Gator big men’s scoring average against Mich. State last Saturday.
So in closing, I am very pleased with Coach White’s recruiting and landing to U.F. guard, Nembhard. But presently I just don’t see an immediate answer to his inside the paint problem for his basketball team. Even Pat Dooley briefly wrote about it, paraphrasing, ”…but the problem in the paint is the same problem this team had last year.” And while I understand the ”patience part,” it’s all we Gator fans are told anymore. Patience is the buzz word for Florida Basketball and Florida Football. However, Coach Dan Mullen does have Florida Football looking upward. Can Coach Mike White get that same trajectory for Florida Basketball? Go Gators!
December 14, 2018 at 5:53 pm #40899
Obviously. Hayes at 6-9 and 220 lbs. is undersized, underweight and he has no offensive, defensive or rebounding capability. Would like to see Gak but he has been hurt for the past decade. Johnson and Bassett at least have some weight they can use so they won’t be pushed around like Hayes. Just a thought. I have no idea how good Johnson is. Saw Basset at IMG and he impressed me with his size and rebounding. Of course that was against high school players.
December 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm #40900
It’s a way-to-familiar refrain watching our B-Ball team get dominated in the paint and give away games on easy lay-ins for the opposition because we don’t have any size under the rim. We live or die by 3-pointers because we don’t have an inside game against real competition. The azznoles don’t seem to have a problem recruiting bigs – some 7′ plus – so why can’t the Mighty Gators? You dominate the boards, you win the games. If Leonard Hamilton (who we used to laugh at) can do it then why does this seem impossible for the Gators?
December 14, 2018 at 11:25 pm #40901
You know your point is very valid, Tunaboat. It’s a great question, why can’t Florida Basketball, with ‘5’ Final Four appearnaces since 1994, recruit the bigs like F.S.U. does? I do know Mike White can coach with a full and healthy roster, as he coached up Billy D’s players in his 2nd year at U.F. to an ELITE 8 appearance. But where are the big men recuits, the dividends per say, from that Elite 8 run? I just don’t see Mike White’s long term planning right now in effect. I don’t know if Mike White will succeed with 6 guards and 6 medium/big men on this roster, 12 total on the roster presently (where are the other 3 scholarship players?) And with 6 being guards and the 3 bigs, Gak, Johnson, and Stokes hurt for much of last year, and this season, too. That only leaves Mike White’s Gators with 3 healthy big men. And albeit Nembhard’s a baller, Mike White has 6 healthy guards presently, and only 3 big men that are healthy consistently. And one being Hayes, who is primarily only a defensive and rebunding specialist. Ultimately, if the guards are not shooting red hot, then I fear this team will be in trouble during SEC play. Here’s hoping I am wrong, though.
December 15, 2018 at 10:36 pm #40910
GI, it would sure be nice to have a guy with a decent post-up game, but this team doesn’t have that guy, at least not healthy. There are more ways to score in the paint than just post scoring, and the easiest of those ways is to score in transition. It seems like with the available, healthy players this team is built to run and get some easy transition baskets, but CMW seems hesitant to do that. I’m not sure why, since it’s pretty clear that the half-court offense gets stagnant on a regular basis. With no inside presence, it’s difficult to play an inside-out game, since our bigs have trouble just catching entry passes cleanly, much less catching them and kicking the ball back out to an open shooter. I think an up-tempo game with guys attacking the basket in transition for easy lay-ups or kick-outs for open 3’s would help jump start the offense.
December 16, 2018 at 9:14 am #40912
You’re right, Joe, about ”inside out game,” and since so many of us hardcore Gator Basketball fans have watched that style since Billy ‘D’ came here, way back when the H.B.C. was the Gator Head Football Coach, it’s hard to understand not seeing it work much anymore.
I’d be interested to see if the staff(s) of Gatorsports.com could come up with some scoring stats/numbers on Coach White’s teams. Since he’s going on 4 seasons now, it will show scoring trends. And I’d bet the primary bulk of Mike White’s Gator team’s points come from the guards, and like you said, the 3 point shots.
I will concede, though, that it was very exciting to watch Florida nearly knock off Duke last season (early in the season in the PK80 Tourney), running up and down the court (up tempo), and hitting shots. But in the end the Duke big men put the 2017-’18 Gators away. I know Florida Basketball could get hot from the outside, and beat a few good teams this season. But they could also lose to most of the teams with good big men (Tennessee, U.K., etc…). And that just may keep these Gators out of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The place that the Gator Basketball team of the mid-80’s ”finally” got U.F. to way back then.
And Gator fans, like me, were ecstatic! We all know with Lon Kruger, Billy ‘D’, etc.. ”the rest of the story. Good day!” And Go Gators!
December 16, 2018 at 2:26 pm #40914
I am in complete agreement that Florida needs a good center/power forward to be a consistent elite team. However, the dominant big man hasn’t been a consistent part of Florida’s teams as far back as I can remember. Florida has had some good to very good power forwards who could play center like David Lee, Haslem, Noah and Horford. Dwayne Schintzius was a true center. However, while he flashed great talent at times he wasn’t consistent or a great player. Florida has been successful when it has at least average to above average production from its front court. I’m hoping Al Pinkins develops our front court to the point of being serviceable if not a weakness.
December 17, 2018 at 10:47 am #40919
With all due respect, MexiGator, and that is what this ”Gator Forum” is for, sharing opinions and ideas:
Dwayne Schintzius Height 7′ 2”
Mike Miller (G and F) 6′ 8”
Joakim Noah Height: 6′ 11″
All Horford Height: 6′ 10″
Corey Brewer Height 6′ 9”
David Lee Height: 6′ 9″
John Egbunu 6′ 11”
Patric Young 6′ 9”
And that is just ”SOME OF FLORIDA’S PAST BIG MEN.”
So in my opinion, “Serviceable bigs” and ”successful”, well those 2 words rarely, if ever, meet! Point in fact, Coach Spurrier once said in 1990, I’m paraphrasing, ”Florida makes excuses, and then we accept them. And that is why we’re not winning CHAMPIONSHIPS!” So… sounds familiar! Go Gators!
December 19, 2018 at 2:46 am #40972
You did not mention Gator great Neal Walk, who should be at the top of any list.
Our situation should improve as the season progresses. Stokes has the potential to fill some of the vacuum at center. If Gak ever heals from international play he could settle into a role.
I give Hayes a lot of credit for playing out of position. He’s a better power forward for his time at center. He doesn’t dominate at center but is an effective shock blocker.
December 19, 2018 at 10:13 am #40984
Gatorgi70x7, All of the players you listed were excellent players for Florida. I would add Haslem to the list. However, I was speaking strictly of the center position. Florida has used power forwards to fill its center position. Schintzius is the only 7-footer in your list. Please don’t get me wrong. I would love to see Florida recruit and develop a true center. I think it has always been a weakness when they play a team who has a dominant center and likes to play half-court. Florida’s teams always seem to lean towards guard-centric play all the way back to Norm Sloan when I became a Gator. Billy Donovan’s teams always loved to shoot 3’s. Mike White’s teams live or die at the 3-pr line. Both coaches favor up and down, transition style play over half-court play. Personally, I would like to see White run a little more tempo on offense. Last year’s team ran tempo at the beginning of the year with success. It’s exciting basketball. However, it doesn’t appear to fit with his defense first DNA.
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