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TV20 Sit-down: Florida Gators men’s basketball coach Mike White (Part Two)

Florida head coach talks on-court achievements of 2020-21 team
Updated: Jun. 28, 2021 at 11:35 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -After losing four key contributors to the NCAA transfer portal, the Gator men’s basketball team replenished that lost talent with four in-coming transfers. Mike White is a believer that the experience of the new players will be beneficial as Florida seeks to return to the NCAA tournament next season. Coach White and TV20 Gator Insider Steve Russell continue their conversation in part two of their interview and touch on what impact the transfers could make. They also discuss the accomplishments of last year’s team in the wake of Keyontae Johnson’s medical emergency.

(Steve Russell):

“Some of the transfers are here, you’ve had a chance to work with them. How has that been so far, what have you seen?”

(Mike White):

“Experience, some older guys. A couple of weeks ago you walk into the gym and you have four transfers, four older guys that have played a lot of games in college who are a little bit bigger and stronger and have a bit better understanding of how to work and compete. Those guys are really excited to be here and excited to be Gators. B-Mac, Brandon McKissic brings a ton of energy when he walks into the gym. He’s in the gym a bunch, he’s working hard. CJ Felder from Boston College is a guy who has a lot of experience at the highest level in the ACC. Myreon Jones, the Big Ten was arguably the best league in the country last year, and he got 15 per game in that league. Again, he’s an experienced guy with a couple of years left. And Phlandrous Fleming is a grad transfer with tons of experience. He can get defensive stops, get high level rebounds, and score it. So all four of those guys are going to be very impactful to this program immediately.”

(Steve Russell):

“I want to go back to last year. What was that like?”

(Mike White):

“Very trying. It was a year defined in my mind by a traumatic event to a guy we’re very close with. Our best player, the best player I’ve coached, the preseason SEC Player of the Year. But also defined by the fact that we overcame an incredible amount of adversity led by Keyontae. Really led by a student assistant coach in Keyontae Johnson who really pulled us through. When you think about it and take a step back and time lapses a little bit, the fact that we got there, the fact that we got to the tournament and advanced despite all that adversity was a great accomplishment it really was. We want to get further of course but no one in college basketball had to endure what these student athletes had to endure last season.”

(Steve Russell):

“Final thing. Name, image and likeness is going to kick in. The transfer portal is going to stay the way it is. Is coaching as much fun now as it used to be?”

(Mike White):

“Hmm. I think you have to continue to adjust and adapt and if guys aren’t having fun maybe they need to get out and find another profession and another way to advance in life. But heck, it beats working Steve. In all walks of life and in all professions we all have obstacles, we all have to adapt. We’ll continue to learn about NIL and the portal and find different ways. Again a huge word for us and all throughout college basketball is adapt.”

(Steve Russell):

“No question. It’s been our pleasure to talk with Gator men’s basketball coach Mike White. Mike thank you.”

(Mike White):

“Thank you Steve, thanks for having me.”

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