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Author Topic: Mike White, former Ole Miss player and LaTech coach replaces Billy the Kid at Florida  (Read 5222 times)

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jbcarol

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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 10h10 hours ago

Updated: Gators make White's homecoming a success with hot-shooting effort in win at Ole Miss - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160116/ARTICLES/160119685

 Sean Farnham ‏@SeanFarnham 8h8 hours ago

Very impressed with the focus and effort of @GatorsMBK tonight basically a 180 from the last time I saw them.

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OXFORD, Miss. -- Florida coach Mike White said he felt locked in facing his alma mater, Ole Miss, for the first time as a head coach.

“Once the ball was tipped, I didn’t even think about it,” White said.

White’s team responded with a similar sense of urgency. Behind one of its best shooting efforts of the season and 27 points from freshman guard KeVaughn Allen, Florida started fast and didn’t let up in an 80-71 win over Ole Miss on Saturday night.

Florida (11-6, 3-2 SEC) snapped a four-game road losing streak and handed Mississippi (12-5, 2-3) its first loss in three-games at the new $96.5 million Pavilion at Ole Miss. Florida improved to 2-4 on the road this season.

“We needed to break through on the road against a high-major opponent,” White said. “To win in the SEC on the road is very, very difficult. We played a solid defensive game and it’s as well as we shot the ball all year.”
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Neil W. Blackmon ‏@nwblackmon  9m9 minutes ago
Gut check here for Gators. Small and docile crowd. Hungry opponent. Game you can't lose come resume time. What's in the tank?

Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  1m1 minute ago Spring Hill, FL
Allen 3-pointer cuts Miss State lead to 58-53 #Gators
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jbcarol

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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  19m19 minutes ago Spring Hill, FL
Miss State long pass sails out of bounds. Final score: Florida 81, Miss State 78.

Florida coach Mike White improves to 2-2 in his UF career in games decided by 5 points for less.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 1h1 hour ago

Florida has found 3-point shooting stroke in SEC play - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160121/ARTICLES/160129929

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While Florida gave away points off turnovers and had defensive lapses against Mississippi State, the Gators bailed themselves out with another strong performance from the 3-point line.

Florida shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range (9-21) in its 81-78 win over Mississippi State on Tuesday night at the O’Connell Center. Five different players made 3-pointers during the win, led by a 3-for-7 night from beyond the arc by freshman guard KeVaughn Allen...

Florida is averaging 10 3-pointers per game over its last three games while shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc during that span (30-66).

One of the biggest 3-pointers of the game came from Allen, who calmly drained a 3 in transition to start an 8-0 run that tied the score at 58. Florida rallied from down 11 points in the second half to win the game.

“You just can’t panic,” Allen said. “You’ve got to stay within yourself, believe in one another and fight.”

Florida coach Mike White said he thinks UF’s shot selection has been better in the past month...

With its most recent shooting performance, Florida has climbed out of the basement in the league in 3-point shooting performance. The Gators are up to 12th overall at 31 percent, and are at 38.3 percent from beyond the arc in conference play. Forward Justin Leon (52.4 percent), Finney-Smith (46.2 percent), Robinson (43.8 percent) and Allen (40.6 percent)...

“There’s a transition that goes with this, it seems,” White said. “If you look at season’s box scores across the country, sophomores shoot it better than freshmen and juniors shoot it better than sophomores. There’s just a progression there. To think that we’d just come out and be a great shooting team this year — when you’re relying on freshmen and unproven sophomores to make a bunch of shots for you — was probably not the right thing to think. We’ve been streaky.”

Allen, with 19 points against Mississippi State, has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games … The Gators rallied from down 42-37 at halftime against Mississippi State, improving to 2-6 on the season when trailing at halftime.

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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 11m11 minutes ago Hollywood, FL

At half, Florida leads Auburn 53-32. #Gators 18-33 from floor, 7-13 from 3-pt range in first half.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 4m4 minutes ago Hollywood, FL

Final: Florida 95, Auburn 63. #Gators (13-6, 5-2 SEC) have won three straight
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Edgar Thompson ‏@osgators 19h19 hours ago

Surging, hot-shooting #Gators face demanding two-game stretch at Vanderbilt, vs. WVa: http://bit.ly/1OTemZP

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With March on the horizon, the Florida Gators are getting on a roll at a good time.

The basketball is moving better, 3-pointers finally are falling and UF’s free-throw shooting for once was a non-issue during a 20-of-24 showing Saturday night against Auburn.

Defense and hustle remain the cornerstones of first-year coach Mike White’s squad. But four wins in five games since a Jan. 6 drubbing at Tennessee - the only loss by three points at No. 5 Texas A&M - have showcased a more complete, entertaining team than seemed possible a short time ago.

This week could show just how far White’s Gators (13-6, 5-2 SEC) have come.

Tuesday’s night visit to Vanderbilt and Saturday’s home matchup with No. 9 West Virginia are a one-two punch that could either elevate the Gators to another level or bring them down a notch.

“How we handle success has been something that we talk about as much as anything,” White said Monday. “How we handle what people in the community are telling us, how we handle what our mom on the phone is telling us, our AAU coach, what they read on the Internet, all those type of things. This is a team that we're immature in a lot of ways.

“In our guys' defense, we're playing one senior.”
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 7h7 hours ago

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida's 60-59 loss at Vanderbilt - http://brockway.blogs.gatorsports.com/13363/beyond-the-arc-3-takeaways-from-floridas-60-59-loss-at-vanderbilt/

White, referencing Vandy 4-point play on missed FT block out, "you can't have seven missed FT block outs and win at Vandy."

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Gators were at their best when their defense fueled their offense, scoring 15 points off 19 Vanderbilt turnovers. But Florida coach Mike White, referencing some missed on switches in the first half and his teams 24 overall fouls, felt his team’s defensive effort was just OK. “On nights like this, our defense needs to be really, really good,” White said. “It’s got to carry us. Those eight or 10 miscues, I keep going back to all the extra possessions they had, the free-throw line blockouts, you can’t expect seven of those on the road and beat Vandy on the road, it’s not gonna happen.”
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 12h12 hours ago Mooresville, NC

Florida coach Mike White dropped to 2-3 in his UF career in games decided by 5 points or less.

West Virginia beat Kansas State last night 70-55. #Gators host WVU in SEC-Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 13h13 hours ago

UF-West Virginia adv: Gators brace for 'Press' Virginia - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160129/ARTICLES/160129607?p=all&tc=pgall

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Florida is preparing for havoc in front of a sellout crowd Saturday when it hosts No. 9 West Virginia at the O’Connell Center in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

“They're the best pressing team in the country, so it makes for focus on valuing the basketball and making great decisions as important as it's been all year,” Florida coach Mike White said. “And we've struggled with it as of late, so it'll be the biggest key of the game."

The Gators have been inconsistent taking care of the ball during the course of the season. Overall, Florida ranks second in the SEC in fewest turnovers at 11.6 per game.

Two years ago, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was searching for a spark for his team after finishing the 2013-14 season 17-16 and 9-9 in the Big 12. Huggins conferred with Kevin Mackey, a longtime friend who employed a full-court pressing style at Cleveland State. In 1986, Mackey’s Cleveland State team, a 14 seed, knocked off No. 3 seed Indiana in one of the first big upsets in NCAA Tournament history.

Tark: NCAA was so mad at Kentucky that they slapped sanctions on Cleveland State.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  23s23 seconds ago Orlando, FL
Francis-Ramirez came into game today 1 for last 23 from 3-pt range -- 2-2 from beyond arc today.

With 15:46 left, Florida leads West Virginia 55-39. #Gators 8-13 from 3-pt range,
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  2h2 hours ago Orlando, FL
Final: Florida 88, No. 9 West Virginia. #Gators first win over a ranked team this season, and a big one.

Dorian Finney-Smith led Florida with 23 points, with KeVaughn Allen adding 19 points for #Gators

#Gators finish game 12-20 from 3-pt range vs. nations best 3-point defense.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins -- "The biggest thing is they shot 60 percent from 3, they don't shoot it that way and we don't give it up."

Huggins said he felt West Virginia players got out of doing what they do well.  (Cheap shots and breaking noses?)

White confirmed that G Kasey Hill broke his nose during the game, returned to game with broken nose.

White -- "Today was one of those days where we put it all together."

White said he felt having three ballhandlers on floor at same time -- Allen, Chiozza, Hill -- helped against the press

White -- "No way did I think we would score 88 points against West Virginia. I knew it would be a track meet, but grind it out."

Gators knock off No. 9 West Virginia - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160130/ARTICLES/160139989?tc=cr
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Edgar Thompson ‏@osgators Jan 30

Bob Huggins on #Gators shooting: 'The way it was going in I was surprised Mike (White) didn’t hit one.'
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 29m29 minutes ago Gainesville, FL

F Justin Leon (head) remains questionable for Arkansas. Kevarrius Hayes (arm) will be evaluated later today

White said he doesn't think pg Kasey Hill (broken nose) will need a faceguard for Arkansas game. Again, praised his toughness

White said his concern again is #Gators handling success coming off win vs. No. 9 West Virginia.

White on Arkansas, "a team of late that has played well in the SEC, we have to play really well to win."

White on KeVaughn Allen, five straight games over 30 minutes, "he's handled the minutes well. He's not playing like a freshman lately."

White said KeVaughn Allen has maintained his aggressiveness offensively more consistently of late.

White on Finney-Smith, "he's gone from having 3-4 really good practices a week to 5-6 excellent practices a week."

White said Finney-Smith has pushed himself to be in excellent shape, which has impacted his play on the court
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 14h14 hours ago

Florida coach Mike White wants Gators to maintain intensity heading into key month - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160201/ARTICLES/160209975?p=all&tc=pgall

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Shortly after Florida knocked off No. 9 West Virginia on Saturday, first-year coach Mike White challenged his team to meet that standard on a consistent basis.

That task will begin Wednesday, when Florida (14-7, 5-3 SEC) resumes SEC play hosting Arkansas (11-10, 4-4 SEC).

“It shows our guys ‘this is what we’re capable of,” White said. “Can we match that intensity level? Can the Arkansas game be as big to us as this game was, regardless of who is ranked, whether we’re playing at home or on the road.”

Mentally, White said, the Gators are in a good place.

Physically, Florida is still a little beat up after a rough week against a pair of grinding teams in Vanderbilt and West Virginia. Forward Justin Leon, who suffered a head injury against Vanderbilt, remains questionable after sitting out against the Mountaineers. Freshman forward/center Kevarrius Hayes suffered an arm injury against West Virginia and also is questionable.

Junior point guard Kasey Hill suffered a broken nose against West Virginia, but White said he should be OK for Arkansas.

“I told him it would probably help his looks a little bit,” White joked...
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 Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 4h4 hours ago

UF-Ark adv: Matchup of bigs holds key to outcome - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160202/ARTICLES/160209933?tc=cr

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Keeping Kingsley from making an impact inside will be one of the keys for the Gators. Certainly, Florida has the size inside to match up with the 6-foot-10, 230-pound Kingsley, beginning with 6-11, 255-pound starting center John Egbunu. But Egbunu has been prone to foul trouble all season. The Nigerian native managed just 12 minutes on the court in UF's 88-71 win Saturday over West Virginia after being whistled for four fouls.

“We've got to be really disciplined with our fouls,” Florida coach Mike White said.

In dealing with Kingsley, White referred to his “three-headed monster” at center, which includes Egbunu, 6-9 freshman Kevarrius Hayes and 6-10 junior Schuyler Rimmer. But Hayes is questionable for the game after suffering an arm injury in the second half against West Virginia.

…. Florida has a pair of Arkansas natives on its roster -- freshman shooting guard KeVaughn Allen (North Little Rock, Ark.) and junior forward Justin Leon (Conway, Ark.). Leon sat out UF’s last game against West Virginia with a head injury and is questionable for tonight’s game.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 10h10 hours ago Orlando, FL

Final: Florida 87, Arkansas 83, #Gators 15-7, 6-3 SEC. Finney-Smith with 22 pts to lead

Florida coach Mike White now 3-3 in UF career in games decided by 5 or less.

White -- "I felt like I aged 10 years in that game" discussing Arkansas late charge.

White on Arkansas game -- "I thought we were OK against it" but said it had mental affect on Gators late, just trying to get ball in bound.

Florida is 80 of 101 (79.9 pct) from FT line over its last four games.

Gators hold off Razorbacks - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160203/ARTICLES/160209857?tc=cr
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 15h15 hours ago

Gators take scoring surge into matchup Saturday against No. 20 Kentucky - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160204/ARTICLES/160209840?tc=cr

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For a Florida team that broke 80 points only three times in its first 16 games, the increased scoring has been a welcome change. It’s taken pressure off a defense that carried the Gators from November to mid-January. It should give Florida (15-7, 6-3 SEC) some confidence heading to Rupp Arena to face No. 20 Kentucky (16-6, 6-3 SEC) on Saturday afternoon.

What’s been different offensively?

“I’ve been asked that question a lot here lately, mostly by friends and family that didn’t enjoy watching us play early in the season,” White said. “I just think it’s a combination of things. Guys’ roles have been defined a little more over time, some of that is the staff and some of it is just guys taking ownership of it, guys together, helping define roles.”

Another factor has been the emergence of senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith, who has played at the consistent level that coaches expected from him throughout the season. The 6-foot-8 Finney-Smith has scored 20 or more points in four of his last six games, averaging 19.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during that span.

“(We’re) riding Dorian a little bit more,” White said. “Dorian playing as well as he’s playing, gives the rest of the guys a little bit more confidence.”

The Gators also have shown more consistency from the 3-point line and free-throw line. On Jan. 16, Florida was last in the SEC in both categories. But in their last six games, the Gators have shot 47.1 percent from 3-point range (53-121) and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line (121-164).
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 15h15 hours ago Kentucky, USA

Latest Line lists Kentucky as a 7.5-point favorite over Florida.

Last three Florida teams that won at Rupp (06, 07, 14) reached at least Final Four. #Gators 3-13 in last 16 trips to Lexington.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  15m15 minutes ago
Gators doomed by slow start in loss at No. 20 Kentucky - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160206/ARTICLES/160209751?tc=cr

White said he thinks Kentucky did a great job on KeVaughn Allen
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  15h15 hours ago
Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida's 80-61 loss to Kentucky - http://brockway.blogs.gatorsports.com/13374/beyond-the-arc-3-takeaways-from-floridas-80-61-loss-to-kentucky/

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– Florida coach Mike White and his staff may want to re-think about pressing to start the game against Kentucky when the two schools meet again at the O’Connell Center on March 1. Kentucky sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis broke the press effectively, and lapses in defensive transition allowed freshman guard Jamal Murray to get some early open looks from the 3-point line and get on a roll. Murray made his first five 3-point attempts and finished with a career-high 35 points.

– Even with Kentucky senior forward Alex Poythress out with a knee injury, the Wildcats outrebounded Florida 37-28 and allowed a physically inferior UK frontline to grab 11 offensive rebounds.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 19m19 minutes ago Gainesville, FL

White -- "We were a team that had won 5 of 6 and probably got a little comfortable," on loss to Kentucky

White said still no timetable on F Alex Murphy's return, everyone else healthy
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 7h7 hours ago

Florida escapes with 77-72 win over Ole Miss - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160209/articles/160209639

Florida matches its win total from last season, when Gators finished 16-17.

White on his guards, "they battled, they fought through 1,000 screens."
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  22h22 hours ago
Updated, #Gators offense sputters in home loss to Alabama - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160213/ARTICLES/160219828

White -- "It's a very tough loss for us, very tough. I told our guys the next two will be a lot harder for us."

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Florida had plenty of trips down the floor, plenty of second chances, to overcome its offensive malaise Saturday against Alabama.

But the Tide’s defense stiffened each time, and even with their starting backcourt fouled out, Alabama knocked off the Gators 61-55, winning its first game at the O’Connell Center since 1995.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 12m12 minutes ago Athens, GA

Final: Florida 57, Georgia 53. Much needed bounce back win on road for #Gators
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 7h7 hours ago

Grinding defense, big shots from KeVaughn Allen lift Gators to bounceback win at Georgia - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160216/ARTICLES/160219723

Gators now 7-8 v RPI Top 100

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Florida kept defending through its shooting woes Tuesday night against Georgia.

Then, freshman guard KeVaughn Allen heated up just in time.

Allen hit UF’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining, and Florida stiffened down the stretch for a 57-53 win over Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum.

Allen led the Gators with 19 points, with Egbunu adding 10 points. The 6-foot-2 guard from North Little Rock, Ark. scored 14 points in the second half.

“The first half, I really couldn’t find a rhythm, to get my shot,” Allen said. “But in the second half I think I really had found it.”

Egbunu said Allen’s big shots helped fuel the team on the defensive end.

 Florida (17-9, 8-5 SEC) overcame shooting 36.4 percent from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range (5-25) by holding Georgia (14-10, 7-6 SEC) to just 32.3 percent from the floor.

“That’s the way it should be,” Florida coach Mike White said. “That’s how you should play. You can’t rely on seeing the basket go through the net for you to play hard. We’ve done it a few times this year.”
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  1m1 minute ago
Uh oh Chiozza turnover leads to Thornwell runout dunk, South Carolina up 64-63 w 30.5 seconds left.
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David Cloninger ‏@DCTheState  38s38 seconds ago
Florida cuts off the baseline and deflects Carrera's shot. Jumpball to UF in a tie game, two seconds. Timeout by the Gators.
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Cold cocked:

Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  19h19 hours ago
Updated, Gators lament missed opportunity in OT road loss at SC - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160220/ARTICLES/160229999

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“South Carolina game out (sic) and played extremely hard,” White said. “They threw a round-house right at our face and we didn't respond very well at all, we were on the verge of getting blown out.”
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 1h1 hour ago

UF-Vandy adv: Gators gearing for critical stretch run - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160223/ARTICLES/160229916

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Florida has put itself in position to return to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence due to a strong non-conference schedule and a winning record in SEC play.

That could change if Florida falters in its final four regular season games. After Vanderbilt, Florida travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday to face LSU. The Gators return home on March 1 to host No. 16 Kentucky, then close the regular season March 5 at Missouri.

Florida hasn’t won two games in a row since knocking off West Virginia and Arkansas from Jan. 30 through Feb. 3. On the flip side, Florida hasn’t lost two in a row since dropping back-to-back road games at No. 12 Miami and No. 6 Michigan State in mid-December.

“We had a chance to win a really big one, steal one at South Carolina,” Florida coach Mike White said. “Obviously, we didn’t make enough plays down the stretch and South Carolina did. All in all, I thought it was one of our better weeks of the year.

“I’m not sure we’re peaking or if we even have another level in us offensively. We’ll keep striving for improvement. But defensively, in terms of our effort, the way individuals have progressed with their motor, I don’t think I could ask for guys to play much harder. I think we’re flying around and defending at a high level, attacking the offensive glass, throwing our bodies around defensively.

“I want us taking good shots and not turning the ball over and at least have a chance to chase it on the offensive glass,” White said. “One mindset would be we took too many 3s. Another mindset would be maybe we should have shot more 3s and turned the ball over less. That’s what really killed us down the stretch: the 15 turnovers that led to South Carolina points. It takes away from how close it was to being a great effort defensively.”

Latest Line lists Florida as a 4-point favorite over Vanderbilt.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  2h2 hours ago Orlando, FL
Final score: Vanderbilt 87, Florida 74. #Gators drop to 17-11, 8-7 SEC. Have lost two straight at home, too.

White on defense -- "Some boneheaded decisions" but credited Vandy's offense tonight.

White on Henderson 80-footer "that's a five-point swing ... huge plays, they made a lot of plays."

White on poor start -- "What we saw on first 8 minutes of film was very, very disappointing."

White on Finney-Smith getting tired, "I think it's more the scout against him."

Gators' tourney hopes take hit with home loss to Vandy - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160223/ARTICLES/160229883
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  14m14 minutes ago Texas, USA
At half, LSU leads Florida 40-29. Again, poor defense for Gators and turnovers leading to LSU runouts.

Florida `12-28 from field, 3-11 from 3 in the first half. LSU 17-31, 4-10.

Point guards Kasey Hill and Chris Chiozza with a combined 6 first-half turnovers.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 11h11 hours ago Texas, USA

White said focus should not be on NCAA Tournament, but "how do we guard somebody"

White said even down 2 points with under a minute left, his intention was to foul and extend game, due to LSU missing FTs late.

Gators drop third straight, fall 96-91 at LSU - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160227/ARTICLES/160229714
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Kyle Tucker ‏@KyleTucker_CJ 15h15 hours ago

Florida's crazy comeback bid at LSU falls short. Gators will be the second straight desperate team to host Kentucky.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 2h2 hours ago Gainesville, FL

White on G KeVaughn Allen -- "We've got to get him back going."
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Seth Davis ‏@SethDavisHoops Jan 19

Seth Davis Retweeted brian watanabe

They're relevant now! Jury still out on whether Mike White can recruit at the level he needs to.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 10h10 hours ago Spring Hill, FL

Final: No. 22 Kentucky 88, Florida 79. Gators have lost four straight.

White -- "I'm at a loss with free throws, this is my 16th year coaching. we've shot more FTs than any team I've ever been around."

White said he felt team played hard, "I felt bad for our guys."

White said he did what he wanted to do defensively v. Kentucky, force them to take tough 2s, felt like they made tough shots.

White said goal now is to go to Missouri and finish .500 in league play. "That would be an accomplishment," he said

UK deals Florida's tournament hopes huge blow by beating Gators in O'Dome finale - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160301/ARTICLES/160309979?tc=cr
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 13h13 hours ago

After Kentucky loss, Gators insist there's still something left to play for - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160302/ARTICLES/160309917

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The Gators (17-13, 8-9 SEC) couldn't deliver White an early birthday present, falling 88-79 to No. 22 Kentucky on Tuesday night for their fourth consecutive loss and third in a row at the O'Connell Center. But White insists there's still plenty left for UF to play for when it closes the regular season Saturday at Missouri.

“It would be an accomplishment for us to finish .500 at this point in this league,” White said. “It's a very, very difficult league. And then we take the show on the road in the conference tournament and see what happens. That's all we can do at this point. Put all our eggs in that basket, Missouri, find some ways to try to improve.”

Florida's NCAA Tournament hopes are on life support. But there's a slim chance the Gators could earn an at-large berth if they beat Missouri and make a deep run in the SEC Tournament.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops Mar 3

If SEC Tournament was today, Gators would be a 10 seed. Looked like a sure fire top 5 seed two weeks ago.

White said he's open to "any and all" suggestions to fix FT shooting, including bringing in an outside voice
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops  12h12 hours ago
Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from Florida's 82-72 win over Missouri - http://brockway.blogs.gatorsports.com/13405/beyond-the-arc-3-takeaways-from-floridas-82-72-win-over-missouri/ … (via #sociablesite) http://brockway.blogs.gatorsports.com/13405/beyond-the-arc-3-takeaways-from-floridas-82-72-win-over-missouri/

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Some observations following Florida’s 82-72 win over Missouri on Saturday night:

– Florida coach Mike White didn’t have a problem with the Gators launching 32 3-point attempts against Missouri. The reason? Missouri was parked in a 2-3 zone for most of the game, and rather than drive against the zone and possibly turn the ball over, he felt the safer play was to take 3s and go for offensive rebounds. “As a team that drives to the basket, we’re a work in progress,” White said. The end justified the means. Florida had only 7 turnovers and allowed just 8 points off turnovers. The Gators shot just 28.1 percent from beyond the arc (9-32) but hit some timely 3-pointers.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 5h5 hours ago Gainesville, FL

White on player rotations, SEC Tourney, "Our focus has to be totally on Arkansas. If it takes five guys to play 40 minutes, we'll do that."

White on NCAA Tournament hopes, "beat Arkansas, I can make arguments about strength of non-conf, conf sked, but it would be fruitless."

White sad in October, first goal was to have winning record, then thought in workouts this could be a postseason team.

White on taking a high number of 3s, said that's who #Gators are, given personnel. Finney-Smith face up guy who takes 3s.
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White: “Some teams have the luxury of thinking about those things”

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“For us it’s about whatever we have to do to beat Arkansas, that’s it. And if it’s five guys playing 40 minutes that are playing really, really well, which hasn’t really been us, so be it. That’s all we’re concerned with, however, can we somehow beat the Hogs.

Asked what it will take to make the NCAA Tournament, White responded: “Beat Arkansas. That's all we can worry about really. It comes down to those people in that room, those decisions that they make. I can make arguments for us right now in terms of our schedule strength. Not only non-conference schedule strength but the strength of the schedule that we played within the league, the number of top-100 wins.

“But I think it's fruitless to waste time and energy on any of that. It takes away from your focus on the Hogs. We've got to defend Dusty Hannahs and Anthlon Bell and Moses Kingsley and keep Jabril Durham out of the paint and figure out a way to attack their pressure and all those things."
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 42m42 minutes ago Kentucky, USA

Bad news for Florida. C John Egbunu suffers torn ligament in thumb this week in practice. Cleared but doubtful for Arkansas.

Injury comes at worst possible time for #Gators

Will be interesting to see if Gators go smaller wE/gbunu out. Arkansas plays 3 guards so Gators could start Hill-Chiozza-Allen v them.

Problem would be Finney-Smith matching up with Kingsley at the center spot #GatorsArkansas
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 15h15 hours ago

Updated with White comments, UF's Egbunu hurting entering SEC tourney - via @Gator_sports http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20160309/ARTICLES/160309690

Egbunu shooting w the brace on


Quote
6-foot-11 Egbunu has been fitted with a brace for the thumb and will suit up for the Arkansas game (1 p.m. SEC Network). But how much Egbunu can contribute while trying to play through the injury remains to be seen.

“The game plan would be evaluate it in warmups first to see whether or not he can even play,” Florida coach Mike White said following UF's workout Wednesday in Nashville. “That's where we're at.”

Egbunu is tied for second on the Gators in scoring (11.5 ppg) and second in rebounding (6.3). Last week, Egbunu scored a career-high 27 points against Kentucky. He's posted a school-record 67 dunks this season.

“It's big for us,” White said. “He's really our best interior defender by far and interior rebounder, and really our only interior scorer. He's come a long way this season. He's coming off probably his best couple of weeks, so it would be a blow to this team.”

Egbunu took part in UF's open workout Wednesday, wearing a brace fitted by UF trainer Duke Werner. He jammed his thumb Tuesday while trying to defend freshman teammate Kevarrius Hayes in practice.

“It looked like his thumb hurt,” White said. “He had trouble catching the basketball and holding onto the basketball. I think that Duke is one of the best in the business. He'll do whatever he can tomorrow in terms of helping with that pain tolerance. So hopefully he can fight through some of that pain and help his teammates, play some minutes and hopefully be somewhat effective. But at the same time, I'm not completely sold that he'll be effective at all.”

If Egbunu can't play, Florida will turn to the 6-foot-9 Hayes and junior Schuyler Rimmer at the center spot. Or, Florida could go smaller against the Razorbacks and slide 6-foot-8 power forward Dorian Finney-Smith or 6-8 forward Justin Leon in the center position.

Either way, Florida will have issues matching up with 6-10, 230-pound Arkansas center Moses Kingsley...
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 Jon Rothstein ‏@JonRothstein 2h2 hours ago

Florida's John Egbunu (thumb) will be a game-time decision for today's SEC Tournament game against Arkansas, Mike White told @CBSSports.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 3m3 minutes ago Nashville, TN

Florida 11-30 from field, 3-8 from 3-pt range. Arkansas 9-29, 0-6.

Florida had an excellent defensive first half v. Mizzou then had lapses in second half. Can Florida sustain d in second half v. Arkansas?
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 27s27 seconds ago Nashville, TN

Line you don't see everyday, Florida 8-18 from both 3-pt range and FT line.
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 9m9 minutes ago Nashville, TN

Final: Florida 68, Arkansas 61, Gators (19-13) move on to face Texas A&M in Friday's SEC quarterfinals (1 p.m. SEC Network).
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Kevin Brockway ‏@gatorhoops 14h14 hours ago

Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF's 68-61 win over Arkansas - http://brockway.blogs.gatorsports.com/13412/beyond-the-arc-3-takeaways-from-ufs-68-61-win-over-arkansas/ … (via #sociablesite) http://brockway.blogs.gatorsports.com/13412/beyond-the-arc-3-takeaways-from-ufs-68-61-win-over-arkansas/

Quote
Sometimes, opposing 3-point percentage comes down to luck. But for the most part, Florida did a decent job running Arkansas off the 3-point line and forcing the Razorbacks into a 2 of 12 shooting game from beyond the arc. Arkansas missed some open looks from 3, which helped.  It was a welcome change, considering opposing teams had shot 45.9 percent from 3-point range (39-85) in UF’s prior five games.
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