Mike White’s first season was filled with more than its fair share of highs and lows. And as such is the guaranteed fate for every team in college basketball other than the national champion, NIT champion, CBI winner and teams who don’t participate in the postseason, it ended with a loss.
But when you think about it, beating Ohio State and then losing to George Washington pretty much sums up the way the Gators’ season went.
Florida officially said goodbye to Dorian Finney-Smith last night in the nation’s capital, who ended his college career with a less than stellar outing (3-9 from the field and nine points.) On this night, it was KeVaughn Allen who picked up the slack, scoring 22 points in a 40 minute reminder of what he’s capable of doing.
But the Gators couldn’t make stops down the stretch, nor could they stop GW’s Tyler Cavanaugh at all. Late in a close game, Cavanaugh buried the Gators with a late three and then four straight free throws to clinch the 82-77 victory. For once, you can’t even blame the Gators’ free throw shooting for the loss- Florida went 14-16 from the line. However, Florida was also outrebounded by GW- not a good sign for a team that considers rebounding its strength.
In any case, Florida’s season is over. It’s a season that elicited quite a bit of frustration, but it was still better than the season before it. This team showed life three different times: beating St. Joe’s in the FoxWoods tournament in Connecticut, clobbering West Virginia at home, and then grinding out an ugly win on the road against Georgia right after a potentially demoralizing home loss to Alabama. There were a similar amount of irritating moments with this team compared to last year, but this team showed that there’s hope for the future.
So remember the mantra that this site preaches. In all kinds of weather. Florida won’t be firing Mike White. The program is not in shambles. The Gators have plenty to look forward to once White brings more of his preferred players onboard.
And above all else, remember the line I closed the paragraph before last with: this season was undoubtedly an improvement over last year.