GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Meeting with reporters Monday for the first time in six days, Florida football coach Jim McElwain was more eager to discuss the Gators’ basketball team than spring practice.
He touched on the Gators’ NCAA Tournament success as he arrived for his news conference and then when a reporter later started to ask a question about the offensive line, McElwain said, “Can we talk some hoops?”
“Just the way our guys are playing, Mike’s got our guys playing unselfish ball. Guys giving of themselves for the benefit of others. I love it,” he said. “… What they’re doing, they’re just, they’re doing the little things. It’s something we talk about over and over and over. And sometimes to be successful, not sometimes, anytime to be successful, you have to do some things you don’t necessarily like to do or that don’t come natural. Which, you know what, getting in a defensive stance, sinking your hips, not reaching and playing team defense, that’s what they’re doing. It’s fun to watch.”
The Florida basketball team defeated East Tennessee State 80-65 on Thursday and Virginia 65-39 on Saturday in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Orlando, Fla. The Gators now advance to a Sweet 16 matchup with Wisconsin on Friday night in New York City.
McElwain, an avid basketball fan, said he and Gators coach Mike White text back and forth.
He also gave his thoughts on Florida leading scorer KeVaughn Allen’s shooting slump.
“There’s no doubt in my mind (he’ll break out of it). I look at it as this: sometimes even those guys that get into that, you don’t want them to get hot so the other team is going to go ahead and maintain their, here’s the shooter, you’ve got to take this away or whatever,” he said. “I think he’s done a great job of involving the other guys.”