This offseason has been a good one for Florida Gator men’s basketball coach head coach Mike White. Since Florida’s Round of 32 exit, the Gators have completely transformed the roster, with the additions of highly recruited freshmen and talented transfers. One of those transfers is Virginia Tech’s Kerry Blackshear Jr., who was considered to be the best available transfer eligible for this season. Gators head coach Mike White joined Sportscene with Steve Russell and Shane Matthews on Wednesday to discuss the new additions and give an update on the roster.
— ESPN 98.1/ 850 WRUF (@ESPNGainesville) July 17, 2019
During his end of the season comments, White alluded to changes possibly coming to the roster. This became evident as five members of the team decided to transfer. White said that it’s a part of college basketball. “They had a little bit of unhappiness on the roster in terms of opportunities, playing time and shots.” White also added homesickness as another factor involved.
With the open roster spots, White was able to secure commitments from some of the top transfer players available. The one who should make the most immediate impact is Kerry Blackshear Jr. The Orlando native decided to continue his college career closer to home. White has already seen this All-ACC talent make a difference on the team.
Anthony Duruji, who played at Louisiana Tech, will miss this upcoming season due to transfer rules. White didn’t know Duruji from his time at Louisiana Tech. However, he said Duruji is an “interchangeable, versatile guy” and one of the top players in Conference USA.
Most recently, the Gators landed Cleveland State point guard Tyree Appleby as a transfer. Appleby, who will also sit out the 2019-20 season, has known White for eight years. White coached Appleby’s older brother, Raheem, at Louisiana Tech. White called the point guard, “a proven assist guy and scorer at the Division I level.”
Once again, the addition of highly talented freshmen has been the talk of the offseason. White was able to secure commitments from McDonald’s High School All-Americans Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis.
White describes Mann’s abilities that he believes can make him a star.
Since Mike White arrived in Gainesville, the three-point shot has been a staple of Florida’s offense. Last year, the Gators lived and died by the three-ball. During the offseason, the three-point arc was moved back to the international distance of approximately 22 feet.
White doesn’t anticipate the increased distance having any significant effect.
With the start of college basketball season four months away, anticipation is already building for Gator basketball to start. This is thanks to the successful offseason with many new additions. This team will look completely different on the court between now and November.
On paper, head coach Mike White is excited about the roster’s potential.