Florida coach Mike White didn’t have much to say about the latest findings into the FBI probe relating to current college basketball players receiving impermissible benefits.
On Friday, Pete Thamel and Pat Forde from Yahoo Sports published a ledger from NBA agent Andy Miller that implicated a number of players at a number of programs throughout the country, including freshman point guard Collin Sexton at Alabama and freshman forward Kevin Knox at Kentucky. SEC-leading Auburn has also been a target of the probe, which has resulted in assistant coach Chuck Person being fired and two players — center Austin Wiley and forward Danjel Purifoy being ruled ineligible for the entire season.
On Sunday, Thamel reported that the NCAA is looking into the recruiting practices of first-year LSU coach Will Wade.
Sexton had 16 points and 7 assists in Alabama’s 68-50 win over Florida earlier this month in Gainesville. Florida will face Sexton and Alabama again on Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa.
“We’re not involved,” Florida coach Mike White said. “I can’t control any of it. I’m not going to worry about it. It has nothing to do with our preparation for Alabama. We’ll leave that in the hands of the folks with the SEC, the other institutions. I guess tough time in that regard for college basketball. We’re getting ready for Alabama.”
— White has been pleased with the development of redshirt freshman forward Dontay Bassett this season. The 6-foot-9, 240 pound Bassett, who sat out last season due to a stress fracture in his foot, scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in UF’s 72-66 win over Auburn on Saturday. Bassett played 24 minutes against Auburn and has made the most of an increased opportunity in the frontcourt due to sophomore center Gorjok Gak trying to play through a bad knee and injuries that have sidelined center Isaiah Stokes, center John Egbunu and forward Chase Johnson for most if not all the season. “He’s earning more and more minutes,” White said of Bassett. “His conditioning has gotten better. He’s got to be in great condition. He’s not an elite level athlete. He knows what he is – he’s a workhorse. He’s got to be a tough guy, a company guy for us. He’s got to be a dirty work guy. He’s got to be a star in his role. He’s a positivity guy. He’s a good teammate. I’m happy with where he is. I think he’ll be in even better conditioned moving forward. This is the first time mentally he’s had to fight through a little fatigue, of course. He sat last year. He had the broken foot, so he didn’t have a chance to do much conditioning at all. He’s got a chance to be a good player here. He’s obviously coming off a good game for us.”
— White said he’s used different sports psychologists during the course of the season in an effort to try to get the most out of the Gators during an up-and-down season.“I have three or four that I talk to pretty regularly,” White said. “I’d rather leave their names out. But you have a couple that come to practice pretty frequently. They give insight from offense to free throws to motivational techniques to connecting with players individually, overall team themes. I’m open to all of it. I think the psychology behind the game is fascinating. We’re all learning every day.” Last season, White had sports psychologist Spencer Wood attend preseason practices to help UF with free throw shooting. “It’s more common now than it was 20 years ago for sure,” White said. “It’s something that I never really delved into until I got to the University of Florida. It’s another resource for us here, you know, people are pretty willing to lend a hand to the Gators.”