The Florida Gators media team of head coach Mike White, center Kevarrius Hayes and guard Jalen Hudson traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, Wednesday for SEC Media Days.
Media Ranks Florida 5th
Read it and weep, Florida fans. The Gators project to finish fifth in the SEC preseason media poll. Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State (in that order) fill out the top four.
Although top 5 in the conference might seem like a win for UF, expectations are high after the team retained every player from last year aside from Chris Chiozza and Egor Koulechov. John Egbunu left too, but he didn’t play a single minute because of an ACL injury.
Furthermore, the Gators reeled in a loaded recruiting class led by five-star point guard Andrew Nembhard. The team has a real chance to go under the radar, but fans can’t be happy about the ranking. It does need to be noted that the SEC is projected to be its best in a long time.
On the bright side, Hudson was named to the Preseason Second-Team All-SEC. He returns as Florida’s leading scorer after averaging 15.5 points per game last season.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame named guard KeVaughn Allen to the Jerry West Award Watch List on Tuesday. The award honors the nation’s top shooting guard.
Who is this team’s leader?
White has gone on record on several occasions to say he’s not sure exactly who the leader of this Florida team is. Toughness is something White consistently harps on, and last year he called out the team for a lack of the trait. Today at SEC Media Day, he reiterated his wish and picked toughness as the one thing that the team needs to improve on.
Leading up to the season, no one is really sure who’s going to step up for the Gators. Allen has reportedly been more vocal, as has Jalen Hudson. The team is admittedly quiet in the sense that there is no clear-cut captain.
One thing is clear to Hudson though. ESPN asked who was more popular on campus between basketball and football players. His response?
“Gotta be the basketball players. All I ever hear is people say, ‘I can’t wait to get to the real season.'”