The Florida men’s basketball team officially begins practices Friday for the upcoming season. New coach Mike White and his staff will be entering their first season in the O’Dome, and are hoping to make some positive changes to the team.
“We hope to be equally as good in the half court, got to communicate at a higher level defensively, got to block more shots, take more advantage of our speed,” White said of the improvements that need to be made. “Offensively we talked about our shooting percentage that needs to go up, our turnover margin has to get a little bit better.”
Not everything has to be changed though, according to White. The defense, which averaged seven steals and four blocks per game, has a solid base that White wants to build on.
“I was really impressed with how well they defended, last year’s team, especially in the half court. We had the 11th ranked defense in the country last year, and that’s considering not having a big shot blocker.”
Coach White is hoping to create his new game plan using the already existing speed and talent of the players, and push them to get even stronger. Keeping the pace of the game in Florida’s favor is a key to winning under White’s strategy. With the staff, team, and potential at UF, this is something White sees as possible.
“The one thing that we do know is we have all the support in the world. We have all of the resources to be successful, we have good players, we have a plan in place, so we’re about halfway there.”
Florida basketball will bring in the season with the Gator Madness event on Friday night. This event will feature both the men’s and women’s teams and will start at 9 pm in the O’Connell Center.
Listen here for head coach Mike White’s comments: