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.
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+
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
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