Ballard also planning to transfer from UF basketball team

The Florida guard Deaundrae Ballard shoots against Kentucky at Exactech Arena in the Feb. 2 game. Ballard is planning to transfer [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Deaundrae Ballard is moving on, too.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore shooting guard became the third UF player in the span of 24 hours to announce intentions to transfer from the Florida basketball program, the Sun confirmed Wednesday, joining teammates Keith Stone and Mike Okauru in moving on from Gainesville. 247Sports’ Evan Daniels was the first to announce Ballard’s intention to transfer.

A former four-star prospect, Ballard received regular minutes throughout much of UF’s 2018-19 season, but the Atlanta native’s playing time took a hit in late February when coach Mike White opted to tighten up his rotation. In 59 games, Ballard averaged 4.1 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from the field.

Ballard’s departure leaves Florida with four scholarships to fill before opening the 2019-20 season, giving White plenty of roster options.


  1. Playing Zombie-Ball does nothing for these players in terms of their goals of playing on after college. They are all starting to realize that standing around and doing nothing gives them nothing to show scouts. “What’s the word on so and so?”

    “Oh, he’s great at standing around and doing nothing. Sometimes he dribbles until there are only 2 seconds on the shot clock then takes a terrible shot.”

    “Was he part of that team that couldn’t even score 50 points against Michigan?”


    “Ugh. NeXt!”

      • That was a great and very insightful article that Chris Harry wrote. I especially liked hearing about Stokes and Gak back in the gym the next Monday for individual workouts. If you think about it, his first class after being hired, was basically recruiting Hayes and Allen, he brought in Hudson, ideally as a scorer, and the second class was almost whomever he could gain a one-year relationship with some players. These last two classes, hopefully, will be what we can expect in the future. Time will tell, but still, to my basic basketball IQ, I feel coach White did a great job this season with what all transpires with the front court players.

  2. I was happy with our defensive effort, but our offense was terrible! Almost every possession We dribbled 8 feet behind the 3 point line maybe passing it to another guy 8 feet behind the 3 point line due to defensive pressure until there would be less then 10 seconds on the shot clock. I have no problem with patient offense and walking the ball up the floor but once there is 15 seconds on the shot clock you need to start attacking and passing and making the defense work so you can 1. Fatigue them and 2. Give yourself a good opportunity to get a good shot. Every game there would be 14 seconds on the shot clock and I would be yelling go! Go now! Do something! And we waste another 7-8 seconds and shoot a terrible shot and miss. This happened way too often and is inexcusable. While I prefer to be in constant attacking and aggressive mode offensively I’m ok with the patient slow approach but you can’t delay the aggressive attacking approach so late into the shot clock like we did over a dozen times a game in every single game. I kept hoping he would coach them to start running plays a little earlier in the shot clock but it never got better. Honestly the few times I did see us start aggressive early in the shot clock we usually scored. A good offense is good defense too, because it allows you to set up defensively and gives you a lead to work with.

    • If we went to triple option in football I couldn’t blame or be mad at all of our wide receivers for transferring either just the way our basketball players are leaving now. Okauru wasn’t good enough to really play, but Stone and Ballard can play if giving the opportunity to play and RUN up and down the floor.

    • It’s especially maddening when we are down 10 points and it looks like we are trying to run out the clock and end the game. It happened multiple times this season, and I am always screaming at my TV– do you realize we are losing the game?

  3. McElwain. Couldn’t develop qbs or much else for that manner. White’s best players this year were his youngest players. The older players seemed to fade away for long stretches.

    McElwain’s best year was his first with Muschamp’s players. His best qb was Muschamp’s recruit. He used a lethargic offense to keep the game close hoping to win the game by a close score. The fewer possessions the better. Played boring to win.

    McElwain had players with significant injuries. So it was always thought that next year would be better when the team healed up and matured. Then he had 10% of his team get suspended for the season. Obviously wasn’t communicating with his players.

    Imagine if McElwain had 20 players graduate(All starters or significant contributors) and another 20 players transfer. He had an incoming class of 20 players.

    What would people thinK?

  4. I’m happy with the Okaru and Ballard transferring, I have long had concerns that they were not the caliber of player needed to compete at a high level. Stone stings a little, he was a good player, but underachieved. We now have a solid core returning and a new influx of talent on the way. If White can add a solid transfer to the mix the future looks more promising. Here is to player development and an upgrade in talent! Go Gators!

  5. When the offense looks a lot better next season, will those being so critical now give the credit to the players or to Coach White? I’m still of the belief that Coach White got a lot out of a team where 2 of the 3 seniors on the team were basically invisible on offense for long stretches, and the 3rd was finally a help on offense in his last few games. Coach White WILL prove a lot of those being critical wrong over the next few years. Go Gators

    • Offensively- scoring we ranked 281 out of 351 teams. That’s my only complaint with Coach White. He needs to get that fixed, it’s not good enough. Besides that I like him and I’m rooting for him to fix it. If he gets us into the top 125 then he deserves credit. Just 2 more points per game can move you a lot up the rankings, so I would say if we are still outside the top 125 then we just have better offensive skilled players who can score more consistently in 8 seconds that is left on the shot clock when we start running our offense.

      • I’m of the belief that our offense was slow and stagnant because of the lack playmakers. In Coach White’s past when he had playmakers he had a good offense. It he slowed down the offense this year because it helped us have a chance to win….then that’s what good coaches do. If he changed to a “zombie offense” because he likes being criticized and living on the tourney bubble, then his career wont last much longer in Gainesville.

    • Right on Sparky. Coach White deserves a lot of credit for keeping the team afloat in the face of adversity. Long before the season was finished, some of those critics as I recall were claiming the Gators were a less than average team and Coach White was unqualfied to coach in the SEC. Well folks have different ways of looking at things, but your comments ring true for me.

    • That’s great news, Sparky! Hadn’t seen it anywhere, and couldn’t find it on ESPN or I’m sure will get around to writing something about it, but Kevin Brockway is sorely missed, and I’m starting to question their commitment to basketball reporting. Are you talking about Jitobah?

      • Yes I was…and we finally got an article on here.
        I hate that the Sun has had to cut back on their staff to the point that most sports are not being covered decently anymore. It’s simply a sign of the times as newspapers have about been run out of business by the internet.

  6. think I predicted this on Tuesday. Was a slam dunk (yes, a pun)
    And its nice to get some new blood that is supposed to be good…………..but alas so were Ballard
    (4*) Stone (4 *) and Okauru (3*)… the jury is still out on player development. The good news is that the freshmen didn’t need development and were the best players on the floor. At least CMW has that going for him.
    One thing we know…..Mann will come in ready to play……….he is already thought to be ready for the draft so “one and done”” is a real probability.
    Since some here critique our comments more than team or coach,and since I have been thought to be overly negative toward CMW, I want to disagree with several here who believe the “Zombie” offense was season long. Sure it showed up at times but after the loss to Miss. St., CMW began turning them loose and we actually saw better ball movement, penetration and an attempt at an inside game. Passing became more daring, resulting in nice assists to players loose under the basket. It became more fun to watch. Did not result in many more wins but who’s counting? (guess I was…After Miss. ST. I said they would lose 8-9 more and they only lost seven……didn’t see the LSU win)
    My last remarks of the season are simply that CMW opened up as much as his talent allowed so I am going to be more patient and see what happens with different personnel. I know we will all be watching.

  7. My only argument for “player development” would be it sure appeared that Chiozza got much better over his career, and even Hayes seemed to be playing the best basketball of his career the last 10 games or so. Time will tell whether Coach White can take us back to being a championship contender. If not, somebody else will get the chance soon enough.

  8. Billy D (and the O-4ers) spoiled Gator basketball fans. That said, let’s keep this in perspective. How many national titles in basketball does FSU have? Georgia? Miami? Auburn? LSU? South Carolina? Tennessee?
    The last time FSU went to a Final four was 1972 (they lost in the title game to UCLA). That’s 47 freakin’ years ago.
    Take away Kentucky and the Gators have more national title game wins and appearances than any other SEC team. Fact: Only Kentucky, Arkansas and Florida have been in the national championship game. Florida is 2-1 in the title game, Arkansas is 1-1.
    Still, we can;t dwell on history, except when we hear from the Semi-holes. GET SOME OFFENSE COACH WHITE.