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Author Topic: Mike White, former Ole Miss player and LaTech coach replaces Billy the Kid at Florida  (Read 7943 times)

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NEW YORK — It was there, in front of them. With 20 minutes to play Sunday, Florida was in position to make its sixth trip to the Final Four in school history.

But untimely fouls, the inability to defend the post and critical turnovers down the stretch proved too much for the Gators to overcome in a 77-70 loss to South Carolina in the Elite Eight before 20,047 at Madison Square Garden.

Instead of Florida, South Carolina (26-10) will represent the SEC next week in the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz. The Gamecocks proved to be the more physical team in the first NCAA Tournament matchup between SEC teams since 1986.

“For whatever reason, in the second half, we couldn’t match that same defensive intensity,” Florida coach Mike White said.

“We had a bunch of turnovers, we were sped up, we had a lack of communication,” White said. “They had — we had live ball turnovers that led to transition for them.”

Florida ended its second season under White at 27-9 with its ninth Elite Eight trip in school history. It was a six-game improvement from White’s first season at the helm, which ended in the NIT quarterfinals.

“I’m really, really proud of our guys for putting Florida basketball back in the right direction,” White said.



Kotsar 6-10 0-2 12, Silva 2-5 9-12 13, Thornwell 8-13 9-10 26, Notice 2-9 2-4 6, Dozier 7-11 3-3 17, Keita 0-0 0-0 0, McKie 1-3 0-0 3, Gravett 0-0 0-0 0, Felder 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-53 23-31 77.

FLORIDA (27-9)

Robinson 1-5 2-2 5, Leon 7-15 1-1 18, Hayes 3-4 2-2 8, Hill 4-7 3-4 11, Allen 4-12 3-3 13, Stone 1-2 0-0 2, Gak 0-1 0-0 0, Chiozza 3-10 2-2 9, Barry 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 25-60 13-14 70.

Halftime_Florida 40-33. 3-Point Goals_South Carolina 2-10 (McKie 1-1, Thornwell 1-4, Felder 0-1, Notice 0-2, Dozier 0-2), Florida 7-26 (Leon 3-9, Allen 2-8, Robinson 1-3, Chiozza 1-3, Stone 0-1, Barry 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_South Carolina 31 (Silva 9), Florida 24 (Hayes 8). Assists_South Carolina 7 (Notice 3), Florida 11 (Hill 5). Total Fouls_South Carolina 17, Florida 21.




NEW YORK — By getting Florida to the Elite Eight for the ninth time in school history, Florida coach Mike White could be in for a raise in the near future.

Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin confirmed following UF’s 77-70 loss to South Carolina on Sunday that he’s been in conversations with White about a contract extension.

“We’ve just got to sign some paperwork, but we let him know several weeks ago that he’s our guy and we want to be committed to him long term,” Stricklin said.

White just completed the second-year of a six-year deal that pays him an average annual salary of $2 million. In addition, White received a $75,000 bonus for getting Florida to the Elite Eight and a $25,000 bonus for being named the AP’s SEC coach of the Year.

White is 48-24 in two seasons at Florida. Florida finished the 2016-17 season 27-9, a six-game improvement over his 21-15 rookie campaign.

On and off the court, Stricklin said he feels positive about the direction of the Florida men’s basketball program.

“The Elite Eight is a pretty cool spot,” Stricklin said. “We wanted to go to the next round, but I didn’t have any preconceived notions.

“But you know what I love, I love how hard our kids play and I love how selfless they are. I love the way they carry themselves on the court and the way they represent the University of Florida and that’s a direct correlation to the young men on the team and to Coach White in his staff and I think we got a lot of years in basketball to look forward to in the University of Florida.”

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Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and a cash bar will be available

VIP tickets are $50 and for UFAA members only. Preferred tickets are $40 for USFAA members or $50 for non-UFAA members. General admission is $25 for UFAA members or $35 for non-UFAA members.




Michael Carvell‏ @Michael_Carvell

Florida basketball: Gators squander another big second-half lead as slide continues

Florida (17-10, 8-6 SEC) has now lost five of its last seven conference games, and this latest defeat comes on the heels of another second-half collapse earlier in the week when the Gators squandered a 6-point lead in the final 20 seconds before losing in overtime at home against Georgia.

On Saturday, Florida went into halftime up 34-28 and later led 45-34 after the first 5 minutes of the second half.

Again, the Gators couldn’t put it away, though.

It was a 4-point game midway through the final half when Koulechov did his best to give Florida a much-needed jolt. He drained a falling-away 3 to make it 52-45 and later another 3 after his own offensive rebound to make it 57-51.

And Koulechov knocked down yet another 3 on the next Florida possession to make it a 60-51 lead with 7:34 remaining.

Still, it wasn’t enough.



How will Florida finish its season?

Their record is sliding, their RPI is sliding, and their perception as an NCAA team is sliding

Since winning at Kentucky on January 20, Florida’s two wins of note are Baylor and LSU, both of which reside along the cutline.  The Gators are 3-6 during that stretch (their other win was South Carolina).  And here’s what lies ahead … Auburn (home), Alabama (road), Kentucky (home).  With a record of 17-11, their margin is sliding, too.  If the Gators win both home games, tensions ease.  That would put them at 19-12 heading into the SEC tournament with enough Quadrant 1/2 wins to easily make the NCAA tournament.  But what if they finish 1-2 in those last three?  Or, gulp, 0-3?  In those scenarios, Florida would enter its conference tourney at 18-13 or 17-14.  Vanderbilt snuck in last year with a loss-heavy profile – largely due to it overall strength of schedule.  But do the Gators want to test that theory again?


Rob Dauster
‏Verified account @RobDauster
Feb 24

Florida is 18-11, yes. But they've beaten Cincinnati and Gonzaga on neutrals, Kentucky and Texas A&M on the road, Auburn at home. Eight Q1 wins, no sub-Q2 losses. Even if they lose at Alabama and Kentucky at home, they've gotta be in, right?


Kevin Brockway
‏ @gatorhoops
46m46 minutes ago

ICYMI, rough ending to the season at Florida suffers heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech in Round of 32 http://www.gatorsports.com/2018/03/florida-season-ends-in-heartbreaking-loss-to-texas-tech/ … via @GatorSports.com

DALLAS — Florida tried to keep its season alive before a raucous crowd in its Round of 32 NCAA Tournament matchup with Texas Tech at the American Airlines Center.

But senior All-American Texas Tech guard Keenan Evans and the three-seeded Red Raiders had other plans Saturday.

Evans scored 22 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining, lifting Texas Tech to a 69-66 win over the sixth-seeded Gators.

After coming up with a steal off a Texas Tech in-bounds play with 14 seconds left, Florida had two chances to tie. But senior guard Egor Koulechov missed an open 3-point attempt. Then, off a loose ball scramble, junior guard KeVaughn Allen was able to get a 3-point attempt off that clanged off the back iron before time expired.

“They are a terrific team,” Florida coach Mike White said. “They made big plays, they made the plays down the stretch, of course, and got the defensive stop when they needed one …

“Tough deal for us. I thought we played well enough to have a chance.”

The loss ended UF’s up-and-down season at 21-13 and ended a string of five straight NCAA Tournament appearances in which it at least made the Elite Eight.

Note: Florida is now 44-17 (.721) all-time at the NCAA Championships.
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