Florida will play its lone official exhibition game against Palm Beach Atlantic on Thursday night.
For Florida coach Mike White, though, it’s not about who starts the game, but about who performs.
The Gators released a projected starting lineup on Tuesday that includes John Egbunu at center, Dorian Finney-Smith at power forward, DeVon Walker at small forward, Kasey Hill at point guard and freshman KeVaughn Allen at shooting guard. But White said that lineup could easily change before Thursday’s 7 p.m. tip time.
” I don’t care who starts,” White said. “And I hope, at least to a certain extent, that they don’t care. It’s about Florida basketball, it’s about winning and improving, that there’s gonna be a small part of each one of those guys that takes pride in earning one of those starting spots. But just because they earn it one night doesn’t mean they will necessarily be starters the next night. It’s going to be, early on, especially with the transition, a daily evaluation. I can’t tell you who is going start Thursday night because we practice this afternoon and then we practice again tomorrow. Those spots have yet to be earned.”
White said given the parity of the roster, lineups could change throughout the course of the season. Different players have stepped up at different points of the preseason. Last week, it was sophomore forward Devin Robinson. This week, it’s been senior forward Alex Murphy.
White said Walker, who is coming off a torn ACL, has a strong Saturday practice.
“He was one of our most consistent guys,” White said. “He’s shooting the ball at a higher level, getting deflections, getting hands on balls defensively. DeVon’s always a guy who’s going to bring it.”
— White said getting junior center Schuyler Rimmer eligible for UF’s season opener Nov. 13 against Navy will be big for the team. The 6-foot-10, 245-pound transfer from Stanford was originally expected to sit out until mid-December. “Schuyler is arguably one of our two to three most consistent guys,” White said. “You know what you’re getting on a daily basis. He’s very consistent. He’s very mature. He plays with a level of mental toughness … He’s got some leadership skills, he’s a hard worker. He’s going to be a factor on this team.”
— ESPN came out with its list of Top 100 college basketball players on Tuesday. Robinson and Finney-Smith were the only two Gators to make the list, with Robinson coming in at 82nd and Finney-Smith ranked 100th.