Florida men’s basketball coach Mike White said his staff and his team have a greater comfort level coming into his second season at Florida, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to buy into the preseason hype around the Gators.
The media picked Florida to finish second in the league in the preseason media poll. But while White thinks his team and staff are more familiar with one another and with what it takes to win in the SEC, he’s hesitant to say that will be reflected in the team’s record.
“I don’t know that that necessarily means you’re going to be much better,” White said Wednesday on SEC Now. “I know that the media has picked us second. I’m not sure I would’ve picked us second. None of that means anything anyway.”
White acknowledged that his team is “pretty old and pretty experienced,” but he pointed out that the team lost its best player from last season in Dorian Finney-Smith as one reason why the Gators shouldn’t be anointed just yet.
Many also expected that in Year 2 under White, the Gators would take on the fast-paced, aggressive style of his teams at Louisiana Tech. The head coach tried to slow that line of reasoning as well.
“In a perfect world, we want to play fast,” he said. “In a really perfect world, we want to press. I’m not sure it’s in our best interest right now to really sell out to pressing.”
The coach said the team will press more this season, but that he’ll continue to tailor his strategy to the personnel he has.
White’s not completely down on his team. He made sure to say he thought it was possible for his team to be as good as people expect this season.
“We just have a ton of work to do,” White said.