The Florida Gators basketball team currently sits at 13-3 and is tied for first place in the SEC. Are the Gators on the right track under Mike White?
After a slow start in his first season, Mike White has picked up the pace on both the recruiting trail and on the court in year two. Let’s take a look.
It was no secret the Florida Gators were brutally average during their first season with Mike White. Florida finished the season with a 9-9 record against SEC opponents and a 21-15 overall record.
They made an NIT run, but would be bounced in the semifinals by George Washington. It was a solid campaign for a rebuilding program, but Gators fans wanted more.
This season, the Gators opened up with what seemed like a death schedule. They played Top 10 teams in Duke and Gonzaga at neutral sites, as well as current Top 10 team Florida State on the road.
Combine that with quality games against 2016 NCAA Tournament teams St. Bonaventure, Seton Hall, and Miami, and the Gators had a grueling non-conference schedule. The Gators didn’t play a home game until December 20th. as Exactech Arena was still under construction. After the Gators finished off their brutal opening stretch of games, they now have hit what could be called a, “Soft spot,” in their schedule.
The SEC isn’t a bad basketball conference, but it isn’t on the level of the ACC or Big East. With that said, the Gators have started off conference play very well, going 4-0.
They’ve been beating SEC opponents by a margin of victory of 10.5 points per game, as well as winning two of their four games on the road.
The Gators still have two games against Kentucky and South Carolina coming up, which should definitely be eyed, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they came away 3-1 one from those tough games.
Florida has shown they fight tooth and nail against tough competition. At this rate, the Gators should make the NCAA Tournament.
Florida is currently projected as a No. 6 seed by CBS Sports in this mock bracket . Recruiting really all started when Mike White was able to keep KeVaughn Allen on board. When Florida was able to fend off home state team Arkansas from acquiring Allen’s talents, that was the first big achievement in the White era.
Since then, White has been more than solid on the recruiting trail.
In the class of 2017 , the Gators currently have three signees and one commit, which has them as the 32nd ranked class in the nation according to the 247 composite ranking. At first glance, the class doesn’t seem impressive, but all these players jumped ship before Florida started playing well.Another thing to take note of is that five-star Shai Alexander was a Florida verbal before receiving a Kentucky offer and flipping. That sounds like horrible news, but the fact that a struggling Florida program was actually in the running for a player of that caliber is a great sign. With three new […]