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Tagged: Gator Men's Basketball.
January 13, 2019 at 10:23 am #41373
Horse shoes and hand grenades, those are the only things ”close” gets you some results in. And unfortunately so far, U.F. Men’s Basketball has only been ”close” this season in big games. This is not an attempt to indict Coach Mike White & his stafff and the Gator players. This is just a ”near the 1/2 way point in the regualr season check up.”
So for starters, I don’t mind watching our beloved Gators lose to a 3rd ranked Tennessee team, like we did last night. I just hate watching these Gators self-destruct down the final stretch. Because this team is better than that. And while losing to teams like F.S.U., Oklahoma, Michigan State, South Carolina, and Tennessee is not a crime, it still hurts! Because those same teams may all end up in the NCAA Tournament this March. And historically, Florida hasn’t beaten a Top 5 team in nearly a decade. We all know that now because that was what the annoying T.V. host kept reminding us Gator fans of during the game against Tennessee in the O’ Dome last night.
So my humble observations for this 1/2 way point in the season. This team is missing Chris ”Cheese” Chiozza and his leadership in a big way. And oh, his quick feet, too! Because while I think freshman guard Andrew Nembhard has a huge upside and a great future (although he ain’t no ”one & done”). Andrew Nembhard looks like he has heavy feet, so I’d hit the jump rope if I were you, young man! Because we need you to lighten up those feet and make ’em quicker! And the Florida big men for U.F., well, don’t get me started. If only Hayes could bottle up his enthusiasm and great effort and then sneak it into his teammates’ Gatorade. Then perhaps this team would be much better than its 9-6 record.
KeVaughn Allen has had some great effort games, like yesterday against U.T. And hopefully that KeVaughn Allen will keep showing up for the remainder of this season. And Noah Locke has been a very bright spot. And hopefully he too continues on his path of draining outside shots. And so I think the immediate future for this 2018-’19 U.F. Men’s Basketball Team will all boil down to want to! Because after January these Gators have a 7 day stretch (Feb. 2nd through Feb. 9th) where they’ll play Top 20 teams: U.K., Auburn, and Tennessee, back to back to back!
There’s no doubt this Gator Men’s Basketball Team has some work ahead of them. They definitely need to get more production in the paint. Stone, Stokes (please get healthy!), and Bassett have to help Hayes out, and often! Otherwise, this team could finish 19-12 and NIT bound. And that’s O.K. for Coach Mike White’s 1st or even 2nd year at U.F. But come on, man! You honestly didn’t see Gak and Stokes’ health concerns? And you didn’t see all the help that would you need for the big men? Like another Canyon Barry or Koulechov? Because before the F.S.U. game, I actually thought maybe you coaches had Stokes, Bassett, and Stone playing like moster big men. But then you fellas went to Tally and lost to F.S.U. by 21 points. So while the hope is still there for us die-hard Gator fans, the reg. season is nearly half way over. Where do you think these Gators will finish? In the big dance? Or the NIT? Or nada? Go Gators! Just do it!
January 13, 2019 at 4:57 pm #41377
So true. You don’t lose your starting senior point guard and not have a learning curve for player and team. With a grip on expectations – the pieces are here for a decent year.
Nembhard is playing well for a freshmen. So far, he hasn’t had much scoring help from more experienced players. That has to change dramatically for this team to squeak in the NCAA Tourney. With some scoring consistency things could turn around quickly. We’ll see here in the first few weeks of the SEC schedule.
January 14, 2019 at 7:25 am #41383
Hopefully, you’re right mtn2top about ”squeaking into the NCAA’s.” And while I know we’re told to ”enjoy the journey,” this journey is presently just so up and down. In fact, I think I may go ride the roller coaster ”Montu” at Busch Gardens in Tampa. That would probably be a smoother ride than this one with U.F. Basketball. But I sincerely hope this team can get more from the U.F. big men. The freshman players (Locke & Nembhrad) do give us Gator fans hope. But the lack of big men play is something I cannot come to grips with. Chase Johnson and his concussions, I give Coach Mike White a pass on that one. But Gak has appeared to have been injured since he came to Hogtown. In fact, I haven’t seen him run up and down the court without looking like he was in pain since he’s been at U.F.
And the lack of development of Hayes, Stone, Bassett (well, Bassett is kinda’ my hope for a jewel in the rough), and Stokes is troubling. I know U.F. made the quarter finals, the equivalent of the ”Final Four” in the NIT’s in Mike White’s 1st year at U.F. (I think it was his 1st year). But I don’t even see that even happening as of mid-January 2019. And it is only ”the 1/2 way point,” so I will not give up on these Gators. But the in the paint problem has to get resolved (as best as the coaches can, with what they have now).
Lastly, I just hope U.F. Coach Mike White understands that you cannot consistently win in the SEC with a ”live by 3, die by the 3” mindset.
January 16, 2019 at 9:47 am #41404
I’m a patient fan when it comes to coaches. A coach needs 3 – 4 years to bring in players that fit their system and develop these players before they are to be judged. However, there is something wrong going on with the basketball team that is disturbing. Player development is not occurring and the team is devoid of leadership. Allen, Hudson and Stone are having their worst seasons in their college careers. They should be providing leadership and consistency. They have abdicated their responsibility. It is disturbing to watch an emotionless team go through the motions. Of the seniors only Hayes seems to have any sense of urgency and play with passion. It’s like everyone else is tuning out Mike White.
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