It was a rather tumultuous week for Florida men’s basketball coach Mike White. His team suffered a Round of 32 exit in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday and in less than a week three players on his roster elected to transfer from UF.
White met with several members of the Gators media on Thursday and proved he gets ‘it’ with his responses.
The Gators head coach oftentimes took a minute to gather his thoughts before answering the questions posed.
White explained that none of the players that transferred were a surprise, with the exception of Chase Johnson back in December. “We saw it coming.”
“Those guys came here for the right reasons and we were excited about those guys, they just needed a change of scenery.”
-Mike White on the four transfers from the 2018-19 Gators roster
White mentioned the culture of the program numerous times. He even said that there was some unhappiness in the locker room and on the bench at times. But he also emphasized that there were no issues off the court. “We had some struggles this year, our culture wasn’t as good this year as the previous…”
The former Louisiana Tech head coach also discussed the struggles of switching programs and building the relationships necessary in recruiting.
“It took time to develop relationships with guys in that second, third, and fourth class.”
He continued, “the three guys we signed early (in November, the 2019 recruiting cycle) we had on campus almost immediately after we got the job, it was a long, long relationship. Anyone signed in those first three classes didn’t have the same relationship.”
When asked what he’s looking for to fill the roster after the attrition, White explained, “we are open to any type of guy that..is a good fit.., would accept a role…, would put winning above individual aspirations.”
White complimented the efforts of freshmen guards Andrew Nembhard and Noah Locke who both approached their coach eager to step up as leaders, which is exactly what the coach wants.
“In a perfect world we would have thirteen leaders.”
With three scholarships still available, White will have the opportunity to find leaders across the nation to help rebuild the Florida brand.
Gator fans shouldn’t be so eager to see the coach let go, he gets it. It will take a team, nay a program effort, to bring Florida back into title contention.
“We will figure it out.”
Note: ChompTalk.com was not present at the media availability, but did watch the video posted to YouTube by Jacquie Franciulli of Gators Territory.