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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.
January 21, 2019 at 9:25 pm #41479
The only good news for the future is that White’s 2020 class is a Top 5. assuming all those commits actually sign. For 2019-20 season, everything depends upon a PG and leadership. Oh, snd make some 3 pointer An NIT bid this seaason would be an overachievement at this point.
January 24, 2019 at 6:41 pm #41504
I’m a Gator and optimistic for the best in each outcome gatorgi70x7. I’m realistic in seeing this team struggle to stay at the same level as last year.
Cheese by himself was that good. Then consider the points Koulechov added. Then subtract Hudson, Allen and Stone who have all been AWOL from the stat sheet. Now take away Gak’s relief minutes and you have our current offensive dilemma.
Another important aspect of every season is development. Gator fans should not overlook the progress of our young players. Adding Nembhard and Locke has worked out exceptionally well and looks very good for the future. Few freshmen backcourt tandems have contributed more in their first season.
Stokes is a sophomore and developing physically and in technique. He’s on track to contribute more as he gains muscle and experience. His best minutes are still ahead.
So yes, there’s going to be ups and downs this season with all the learning curves. The older guys haven’t made the transition any easier by not consistently scoring. You have to hand it to Coach White. Playing through the frontcourt was not working in the first half, so he went to small ball for a stunning turnaround. That’s good coaching and use of players on the roster.
That makes the A&M win especially sweet. How many people were upset at halftime with a thirteen point deficit and even stopped watching the game? Then this team hits the floor for the second half and roars to a double digit win. That’s the roller coaster we will be on this year.
January 28, 2019 at 7:15 am #41555
The FBI are currently looking for Jalen Hudson, a missing person since he went to the Bahamas. There is a Jalen Hudson on the Gator bench, but reports are agents are looking for a guy who averages 15 a game, is a starter, and plays with confidence.Not the Hudson on the bench. Please report any sighting to Mike White and Gator coaches.
January 28, 2019 at 10:56 am #41557
”The truth is drawn and driven in the right direction by other truths.” -C.H. Spurgeon.
So thanks to all who have contributed so far. And while I’m rooting for Florida Basketball and Coach White, ”the truth” is big man, Gak, has been hurt since he came to the Univ. of Florida. And Stokes should be jumping rope everyday in order to get lighter phsyically and quicker on his feet in order to help this team. As I commented here in the past, Stokes could be as effective (or more so) than the great Dametri Hill, ”Da Meat Hook,” who during the Gators’ 1st Final Four season in ’94, Hill averaged around 14 points a game and grabbed around 6 rebounds a game. But here in 2019, I think Dontay Bassett is the one who needs to play more effectively in the paint. As I truly believe Dontay Bassett hasn’t even come close to his upside yet.
I have to believe Coach Mike White & staff saw this coming, he had to have seen this coming! Because other than Keith Stone’s untimely injury, these coaches had to know where they were with regards to Florida’s big men. The coaches knew they’d get non-stop effort from Hayes, but they also should’ve known there wouldn’t be a lot of help in the paint to assist Hayes on a consistent basis. Albeit, Hayes had quite possibly his best overall game against T.C.U. in Texas, the Gators still lost. K.J. has been a bright star so far, beaming a bright hope for the future. But not shinning so brightly that were talking about seedings in the 2019 NCAA Tourney.
”The truth” is that Florida is missing pieces, and like any coaching staff, and much like a ”sales staff,” they have to ”forecast and predict” where their ”sales” (their help) will come from. And I don’t see Mike White’s long term plan with regards to Florida’s big men as of today on Jan. 28th, 2019. Whether or not Mike White will publicly acknowledge that he took some missteps with recruiting big men to Florida (to date), these deficiencies glaringly show in games that are close. And Saturday’s game against T.C.U. (like 2 others in the SEC schedule, so far) have been close. And ultimately, Florida lost them all (Carolina and U.T., too). But still, ‘IF’ these Gators can win the next four games, then ”BAM” Coach Mike White’s a basketball genius! GO GATORS!
January 28, 2019 at 11:29 am #41559
The injury issues in the frontcourt are very concerning, and the criticism is fair for White regarding the issues. But, like several of you have pointed out, UF has a top-5 class coming in and the 3 freshmen have shown plenty of promise. White does need to continue improving as a coach, undoubtedly.
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