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Florida Gators recruiting will
get worse before it gets better

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Written by Nick de la Torre, May 13, 2015, 3 Comments,
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In his introductory press conference as the new men’s basketball coach of the Florida Gators, 38-year old Michael White didn’t sound like a coach who was in over his head.

White nodded to the work that his predecessor had done the past 19 years. Billy Donovan turned the University of Florida from an also-ran on the hardwood to one of the premier programs in the entire country and White knows that he is now the head of what could be a basketball juggernaut.

“It’s more of embracing the fact that you have a great, great job that Coach Donovan has built,” White said. “I think it was a good job when he got here, and now it’s a great job.”

So when the topic of the four signees that Donovan and the Florida Gators have came up, White didn’t mince his words.

Often times recruits will pick a school based on a coach, rather than the actual institution. You can’t blame them completely. Recruiting is all about building relationships and young 16-18 year old kids grow close to the coaches that call them, write them letters, interact with them on social media and visit them in person. The personal attachment players get with coaches is understandable and when you have a coach like Donovan, who spent nearly two decades at the same school, most recruits expect to play for him when they commit and sign a letter of intent.

Players quickly find out that college sports are a business. Wins and losses mean revenue and money makes the NCAA machine go. A coach who doesn’t get enough wins to keep their machine running at optimal levels will quickly be looking for a job — or in Florida’s case, a coach who shows he can win consistently will get an opportunity too good to pass up.

All too often kids pick a university based on a coach rather than the institution itself. It’s hard for a teenager to think far enough into the future and realize that a degree will stay for a lifetime, while a coach may last a year or two.

White met with all four of Florida’s signees but Jeff Goodman reported on Tuesday that power forward Noah Dickerson has asked to be released from his scholarship and the stepfather of shooting guard KeVaugh Allen went on the radio a week ago saying Allen intends to do the same.

“I’m not into begging,” White exclaimed. “I think this place to a certain extent sells itself.”

This may be the biggest question mark for White moving forward. How will the 38-year old coach fare going up against John Calipari and the other heavyweights of college basketball? Calipari gets to sell the Kentucky program, his NBA Draft factory and, of course, himself. The same goes or Coach K at Duke, Roy Williams and UNC and the bevy of new coaches — including former NBA head coach Avery Johnson — in the SEC.

White has a premiere program to sell but he’s largely an unknown commodity. A young coach who spent the past four years coaching in a one-bid league, White will have his work cut out for him sitting in the stands at AAU tournaments.

He does, however, get to enter the gyms and homes of prospective recruits with a Gator logo on his chest. The program, at least in the beginning, will have to be the biggest selling point. At least until White starts piling up wins and shows recruits the style of basketball he’s going to bring to the University of Florida.

Nick de la Torre

About 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

  1. kcloutMay 13, 2015, 10:09 am

    The article title can easily be for football recruiting as well.

  2. gatorbogeyMay 13, 2015, 2:19 pm

    i think Coach White will get to showcase his skills at player development. i think, more than anything, (other than wins), a good reputation for developing players will attract the recruits. moms and dads will like that aspect.

  3. Wilbur_36May 14, 2015, 7:18 pm

    Sorry Nick, I have to beg to differ with you on the Basketball and Football future recruiting. Coach White-Basketball seems to me like a young Billy Donovan. He is outgoing, excited, and has a 100 day plan. I think he will do well. As for Coach Mac in football, I really like the way he has come in and made it well known he intends to be dominant in the state of Florida recruiting in state players. Coach Mac has sold that to his staff and is selling it to the High School Coaches and Players that he wants the in state talent. Florida has never had a Football Coach with that plan, not even the Ole Ball Coach. I really like Coach Mac more than any Football Coach we have had since Spurrier. He is a breath of fresh air for Florida’s Football Program.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/USATSI_8276022_166229722_lowres-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre BasketballThe Latest ,,,,,
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In his introductory press conference as the new men’s basketball coach of the Florida Gators, 38-year old Michael White didn’t sound like a coach who was in over his head.

White nodded to the work that his predecessor had done the past 19 years. Billy Donovan turned the University of Florida from an also-ran on the hardwood to one of the premier programs in the entire country and White knows that he is now the head of what could be a basketball juggernaut.

“It’s more of embracing the fact that you have a great, great job that Coach Donovan has built,” White said. “I think it was a good job when he got here, and now it’s a great job.”

So when the topic of the four signees that Donovan and the Florida Gators have came up, White didn’t mince his words.

Often times recruits will pick a school based on a coach, rather than the actual institution. You can’t blame them completely. Recruiting is all about building relationships and young 16-18 year old kids grow close to the coaches that call them, write them letters, interact with them on social media and visit them in person. The personal attachment players get with coaches is understandable and when you have a coach like Donovan, who spent nearly two decades at the same school, most recruits expect to play for him when they commit and sign a letter of intent.

Players quickly find out that college sports are a business. Wins and losses mean revenue and money makes the NCAA machine go. A coach who doesn’t get enough wins to keep their machine running at optimal levels will quickly be looking for a job — or in Florida’s case, a coach who shows he can win consistently will get an opportunity too good to pass up.

All too often kids pick a university based on a coach rather than the institution itself. It’s hard for a teenager to think far enough into the future and realize that a degree will stay for a lifetime, while a coach may last a year or two.

White met with all four of Florida’s signees but Jeff Goodman reported on Tuesday that power forward Noah Dickerson has asked to be released from his scholarship and the stepfather of shooting guard KeVaugh Allen went on the radio a week ago saying Allen intends to do the same.

“I’m not into begging,” White exclaimed. “I think this place to a certain extent sells itself.”

This may be the biggest question mark for White moving forward. How will the 38-year old coach fare going up against John Calipari and the other heavyweights of college basketball? Calipari gets to sell the Kentucky program, his NBA Draft factory and, of course, himself. The same goes or Coach K at Duke, Roy Williams and UNC and the bevy of new coaches — including former NBA head coach Avery Johnson — in the SEC.

White has a premiere program to sell but he’s largely an unknown commodity. A young coach who spent the past four years coaching in a one-bid league, White will have his work cut out for him sitting in the stands at AAU tournaments.

He does, however, get to enter the gyms and homes of prospective recruits with a Gator logo on his chest. The program, at least in the beginning, will have to be the biggest selling point. At least until White starts piling up wins and shows recruits the style of basketball he’s going to bring to the University of Florida.

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