Mar 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Florida Gators head coach Mike White talks to forward Kevarrius Hayes (13) during the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the finals of the East Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Coach White, Hayes and Hudson Look Forward to the 2017-18 Season

Gators Men’s Basketball

Head Coach Mike White and juniors Kevarrius Hayes and Jalen Hudson, a transfer student from Virginia Tech, had nothing but positive things to say about the development of this year’s basketball team in a short press conference yesterday afternoon.

Head Coach Mike White

Coach White particularly commented on freshman guard, Deaundrae Ballard. Coach White said Ballard struggled early, but has shown his abilities in the last 3 or 4 practices. “We talk about how crazy his work ethic is. He’s in the gym every morning by himself. He’s in the gym by far more than anyone on the team.”

Kevarrius Hayes

When speaking of the team’s effort during practices, Hayes said “the team’s working hard. Giving all they got in practice. (I) feel like we’ve come a long way in just a week.”

Gator bigs John Egbunu and Gorjok Gak have been dealing with injuries this offseason, putting Hayes in a position to carry the workload for the frontcourt. “Working out with Gak and Egbunu has been demanding. Me and Dontay don’t get much rest. We’re, like, the only two bigs right now.” Hayes jokingly implied “We’re going to be the first ones in shape out here.”

Hayes went on to talk about SEC competition and Florida’s projection in the conference. “There’s gonna be some good competition,” then said, “It’s nice to kind of get Florida back to, at least, close to what it was years ago.”

Jalen Hudson

Transfer Jalen Hudson had a very confident tone in his portion of yesterday’s interview. When asked what he could bring to the team, Hudson said “a lot of energy, a lot of defensive pressure, guidance to the young guys and the guys who played.”

When Hudson was asked about the competition in practice, he boasted about the team’s effort as well. “We’ve really been competing. Really getting after it.” Though the season has yet to start, Hudson says the Gators have kept up their intensity through these practices. “I wouldn’t say just the first couple days have been competitive. I’d say every day. I like it a lot.”

Gators Men’s Basketball will continue preparing for their upcoming season. The Gators first exhibition game is Nov. 5th against the University of Tampa.

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