Florida Gators Men’s Basketball 2017-2018

Season Summary

The Gators ended their season with a 66-69 loss to Texas Tech and fall just short of the Sweet 16. Florida finishes year 3 of the Mike White era with a record of 21-13 (11-7 SEC).

The season started off with a bang as the Mighty Gators scored over 100 points in 4 of 5 regular season opener games.

November 13, 2017*
7:00 pm, ESPNU
No. 8 Gardner–Webb W 116–74 O’Connell Center 

(8,604)
Gainesville, FL

November 16, 2017*
7:00 pm, SECN
No. 8 North Florida W 108–68 O’Connell Center 

(9,151)
Gainesville, FL

November 19, 2017*
6:00 pm, SECN
No. 8 New Hampshire
Phil Knight Invitational Campus Game
W 70–63 O’Connell Center 

(9,501)
Gainesville, FL

November 23, 2017*
10:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 7 vs. Stanford
Phil Knight Invitational Motion Bracket Quarterfinals
W 108–87 Veterans Memorial Coliseum 

(7,878)
Portland, OR

November 24, 2017*
11:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 7 vs. No. 17 Gonzaga
Phil Knight Invitational Motion Bracket Semifinals
W 111–105 2OT Moda Center 

(14,274)
Portland, OR

November 13, 2017*
7:00 pm, ESPNU
No. 8 Gardner–Webb W 116–74 O’Connell Center 

(8,604)
Gainesville, FL

November 16, 2017*
7:00 pm, SECN
No. 8 North Florida W 108–68 O’Connell Center 

(9,151)
Gainesville, FL

November 19, 2017*
6:00 pm, SECN
No. 8 New Hampshire
Phil Knight Invitational Campus Game
W 70–63 O’Connell Center 

(9,501)
Gainesville, FL

November 23, 2017*
10:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 7 vs. Stanford
Phil Knight Invitational Motion Bracket Quarterfinals
W 108–87 Veterans Memorial Coliseum 

(7,878)
Portland, OR

November 24, 2017*
11:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 7 vs. No. 17 Gonzaga
Phil Knight Invitational Motion Bracket Semifinals
W 111–105 2OT Moda Center 

(14,274)
Portland, OR

Reference for table above: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017%E2%80%9318_Florida_Gators_men%27s_basketball_team

Season Highlights

Florida lost its next three in a row to #1 Duke, #5 FSU, and #5 Loyola-Chicago before alternating wins and losses against #17 Cincinnati and #22 Clemson and falling out of the top-25 rankings. The Gators were able to rattle off seven consecutive wins against James Madison, Incarnate Word, Vanderbilt, #11 Texas A&M, Missouri, and Mississippi State before losing to Ole Miss. After defeating Arkansas and #18 Kentucky, the Gators made their way back into the top-25 and lost 3 of 4 games ranked at #20 and #23 with key losses against South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Florida rebounded with back-to-back wins against LSU and South Carolina only to lose to Georgia, Vanderbilt, and #19 Tennessee.  Inconsistency was only amplified by the injury and loss of 5th-year senior John Egbunu as the Gators defeated #12 Auburn, Alabama, and #23 Kentucky to end the regular season. Seniors Chris Chiozza, Egor Koulechov, and the injured John Egbunu celebrated senior day with a victory over rival Kentucky, but were immediately bounced out of the SEC tournament at #23 as a 3-seed by #6 Arkansas. The (#6 East) Gators had an exciting victory over (#11 East) St Bonaventure, but fell to (#3 East) #14 Texas Tech 66-69 in the round of 32 match.

Aftermath

I understand the Gator Nation’s frustration with Mike White at this point, but Will Miles of Read and Reaction makes a compelling argument for the Gator fans to be patient with Mike White. [https://www.readandreaction.com/2018/03/18/florida-gators-basketball-think-mike-white-wake-gators-loss-texas-tech/]

Mike White has a winning percentage of 0.651 (69-37) at this point, which is behind Billy Donovan’s 0.715 (467-186). As a side note, Donovan win percentage was 0.544 (49-41) in his first three years, with the key difference being that Donovan got his team into the Sweet 16. White still has work to do in terms of recruiting and point differential before his teams can overcome the inconsistency that is holding his teams back from reaching their potential. For now, I fully support Mike White and his approach to Gator basketball. Congratulations to the Florida Gators on an exciting year of basketball, and good luck to the departing seniors!

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