Florida basketball opens its second season under coach Mike White with an in-state clash against Florida Gulf Coast in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday night.
The Gators are coming off a 21-15 finish in White’s first season replacing longtime head coach Billy Donovan.
The roster returns seven of the team’s top eight scorers, losing only leading scorer Dorian Finney-Smith (14.7 points per game). Meanwhile, graduate transfer guard Canyon Barry (19.7 points per game at College of Charleston last season) and high-upside redshirt-freshman forward Keith Stone are expected to be impact additions.
Florida is playing off-campus for the first part of the season as renovations continue on the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
What time is tipoff?
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Fla.
What TV channel is showing the Florida-Florida Gulf Coast game?
The game will be available for streaming on SEC Network Plus.
Who is calling the Florida basketball game?
Bernie Guenther is the play-by-play announcer and Bill Koss will serve as the analyst.
Looking at Florida Gulf Coast
The Eagles went 21-14 last season, winning the Atlantic Sun championship to reach the NCAA tournament. They won their first-round game, 96-65 over No. 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson before losing to No. 1 seed North Carolina.
Florida Gulf Coast is in its fourth season under head coach Joe Dooley, a former assistant coach under Bill Self at Kansas. The Eagles return four starters from last season.
Gators coach Mike White’s scouting report
“A few people have asked, ‘What are they really good at or what are you most concerned about?’ Their talent. And you don’t say that normally about a mid-major team. Coach Dooley’s done a wonderful job. And they run good stuff. And they’re sound. And they’re disciplined. They’re really good. They have three guards that can play in our league, that can be good players in our league. And then their starting four guy, (Marc-Eddy) Norelia … he’s a monster. He’s a heck of a player. He would start on a bunch of teams in our league. I think he’s arguably the best player in their league.
“So this will be a little bit unique as compared to some other mid-majors when your guys are watching personnel clips for the first time. And our guys remember it from last year too. They say ‘Oh wow, that guy’s really good.’ They have our respect, as they should, and we’ll need to play well Friday.”