Mike White happy with Florida Gators’ offense

The Gators are less than a week away from their exhibition opener, and their first-year coach is happy with the progress on the offensive end of the floor.

The final intrasquad scrimmage showed how far the group has come. The team didn’t shoot the ball as well as White hoped from behind the three-point line, but everything else was getting better. Florida moved the ball well, pushed the ball up the floor and shot it well inside the three-point line.

“We’re definitely in a much better flow offensively,” White said. “It’s starting to come together, I think, slowly but surely. We didn’t shoot it very well from behind the arc. Shot it well from the interior. Drawing fouls at a higher rate. Transition offense has become a little better for us.

“It’s still very, very early, but we’re getting there.” 

The most improved part of the Florida offense came with ball movement. That had a lot to do with point guard play, as Chris Chiozza and Kasey Hill have both improved since the beginning of practice.

White puts a lot on his point guards, expecting them to run the offense and push the ball up the floor. The increased tempo in practice has shown with their improvement in the recent week. The players are getting up the floor faster and getting lined up when they are supposed to be.

“It’s something that during practice we emphasize quite a bit more,” White said. “As we started talking about it more heading into that last scrimmage, I think probably guys had less questions in terms of where they were supposed to go, who’s supposed to go, what time of screen, when and where, those types of things.” 

The Gators of preseason practice are dwindling. Florida opens the season with an exhibition game on November 5 against Palm Beach Atlantic at 7 p.m. With less than a week until that happens, White is happy with where his team is at on the floor. The team is comfortable running multiple offenses and defenses in practice, but White is interested to see how that holds when they take the floor against a different team for the first time.

“I’m pleased with our leadership, our work ethic, our intensity level, how we’ve approached practices every day,” White said.

TRUSTING THE FRESHMEN 

KeVaughn Allen has received most of the praise from the freshman class, but White is also building trust with Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone. White said that Stone had his best practice on Monday of this week where “he really shot the ball well.”

Hayes has been “a really consistent presence defensively” in practice and will immediate be in the rotation at center.


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