Jim McElwain using Florida basketball as example for football

Jim McElwain is a basketball nut, something he’s never tried to hide, so you can imagine his excitement during March Madness.

In his first press conference in a week, McElwain opened up talking about how excited he was for Mike White and the Florida Gators basketball team, as well as how well the SEC has done in the tournament.

Mac is a fan, he’s going to watch as much college hoops as he can, but he is also using what White and the men’s basketball team is doing as a teaching tool for his team.

“My hat’s off to how our guys are playing. Mike’s got those guys playing unselfish,” McElwain said. “You don’t see a lot of guys calling for ‘me, me, me.’ I think it’s really a testament to see the team play and be concerned more about their teammates and getting them involved rather than how many points they score.”

Florida cruised past East Tennessee 80-65 in its opening game. Three players scored in double-digits and 16 assists on 26 buckets. In the second round the Gators drew Virginia, the best defensive team in the country. Florida held UVA to just 39 points moving to the Sweet Sixteen.

“Mike’s got our guys playing unselfish ball. Guys giving of themselves for the benefit of others. I love it,” said McElwain. “I think doing the things in life that are not easy, but that are hard, only to look forward to the stuff that you like to do, what they’re doing, they’re just, they’re doing the little things.”

McElwain has texted back and forth with White to congratulate him on the NCAA Tournament success. McElwain is also making sure his players are watching how the basketball team is playing and hopes it makes an impression on them.

“It’s something we talk about over and over and over,” he said. “And sometimes to be successful, not sometimes, anytime to be successful, you have to do some things you don’t necessarily like to do or that don’t come natural. Which, you know what, getting in a defensive stance, sinking your hips, not reaching and playing team defense, that’s what they’re doing. It’s fun to watch.”

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC