White needs blue collar effort vs. Alabama

In the games that Florida has looked the best this year they have relied on a hard working defensive effort to help get the offense rolling. Against an Alabama squad that routinely works as hard as the Gators do, White knows he will need a big time effort from his squad to pull out a win at home on Saturday.

Florida Gators (16-8, 7-4 SEC) vs Alabama Crimson Tide (14-9, 5-6 SEC)

Saturday, February 13, 2016; 5:30 p.m.

Gainesville, Florida; Stephen C. O’Connell Center

TV: SEC Network

There have been major lapses in defensive play in only about three games this entire season for the Gators. In those games, Florida had no chance to win the game. Shutting down guys like Ole Miss’s Stefan Moody, which they did a decent job of in two games this season. White needs that kind of effort from his team on Saturday.  

“We aren’t the hardest playing team, but we need to be,” White told the Florida media on Friday. “It’s got to be really important to us to be that blue collar team, to overachieve. I thought we were much better against Ole Miss in those areas than we were on the road. We need that effort tomorrow. It will take a great effort to beat Alabama.”

The problem with Alabama is they bring that effort and have been doing so a lot more lately. The Crimson Tide are owners of the SEC’s current longest winning streak at three games and it is all about how hard they play the game. Alabama is a physical team as well.

“First off (you see) how good they are defensively… just how big they are,” White said. “They’re really big at every position, Obasohan is 6-foot-2, but built like a linebacker. They have a lot of height, length, and girth and are very solid defensively.”


Florida Projected Starters

Ht. / Wt.



F Dorian Finney-Smith (SR)

6-8, 220



F Justin Leon (JR)

6-8, 200



C John Egbunu (SO)

6-11, 255



G KeVaughn Allen (FR)

6-2, 183



G Chris Chiozza (SO)

6-0, 175




Alabama Projected Starters




F Riley Norris (SO)

6-7, 203



F Michael Kessens (JR)

6-9, 228



F Jimmie Taylor (JR)

6-10, 248



G Arthur Edwards (GR)

6-6, 217



G Retin Obasohan (SR)

6-2, 210



Retin Obasohan is the Crimson Tide’s leading scorer and is a physical guard that can take it to the rim at any time and loves to do so.

“Offensively it starts with Obasohan. He’s just terrific,” White said. “He’s very difficult to keep out of the paint and off of the foul line. He’s probably as explosive a driver as there is in the Southeastern Conference.”

To compliment Obasohan, sophomore guard Riley Norris has started the last eight games and has scored double figures in five of the last six contests. Norris is shooting a nice 42% from three point land as well and can get hot.

White sees Alabama as an entire group that is playing at a higher level right now.  

“In scouting them I think they play really hard,” he said. “They are one of the best defensive teams in our league. I think they put Obasohan in positions to be successful, whether it’s off the ball, on the ball, or coming off of ball screens, they are really good in transition offense. They have really good role identification with three or four guys that can really shoot it. They are difficult to defend. They spread the floor and have really good spacing. They are really good. (Alabama) and Kentucky are playing better than anyone in our league right now. 

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