Podcast: Talking basketball transfers and diamond sports

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we discuss a number of topics including the recent transfer pickups by the Florida Gators basketball team.

Andrew Spivey, Ethan Hughes, Baileigh Carlton talk about the additions the Gators have added, plus we talk about what the football team needs to add in the transfer portal.

Andrew, Ethan, and Baileigh also talk about what the Gators need in the Class of 2022 recruiting cycle.


Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, back with Ethan, and now we got Baileigh with us today, so we’re going to hit the trio today. Back and got a lot of things to talk about, even though it is technically offseason. There’s no offseason in football. Ethan, first off, you did call the Gators to win the Ole Miss series, so props to you.

Ethan:​The way this team is at this point, they win the series that you don’t think they have a chance in heck at winning, and then they go out and lay an egg the next week. Kind of like basketball in that regard. It was nice to see the move Sully made last week with the starting rotation, getting Mason Leftwich in to relief hit, paid off and got a big-time series win. Now they need to keep it going this weekend on the road at Rocky Top.

Andrew:​Are you calling Sully Mike White?

Ethan:​Absolutely not.

Andrew:​I just had to make sure.

Ethan:​Do not get people in my Twitter mentions over that one.

Andrew:​I was going to say. Let’s direct all Twitter to ehughes on Twitter for the Mike White, Kevin O’Sullivan thing. Then Baileigh, the bats woke up in Athens. Softball goes up and takes two out of three. Cottrill gets going. You started to see a little bit of life with the bats. I said this last week to Ethan. Softball will go as far as the bats go.

Baileigh:​Exactly. Georgia has a little bit of a funny stadium, where they’re down left and right it’s just 190, but really Florida didn’t even need it. Charla Echols, she had a great series. She was hitting bombs straight center. I think that softball is getting back on the right track here a little bit. Saturday night was a little rough to start the series, but after that they pretty much dominated Georgia the rest of the weekend. Now tonight, they play USF in a double-header, and then this weekend moveon to play Team Canada. They added a series with Western Kentucky this weekend, or a double-header with them, so that’llbe fun to watch a little more softball for the weekend.

Andrew:​Had I told you beginning of the year Arkansas would be in first place in the SEC, you’d have probably told me I was stupid. Arkansas first place in the SEC? Come on.

Baileigh:​That’s crazy. Gosh, her name isn’t coming to me right now, but they have one girl that has like 19 or 20 homers this year. They are going off.

Andrew:​Hightower’s pitching well. Ethan, we’ll move onto football stuff here in a minute, but do you expect the opener with Mace and Leftwich to kind of continue this weekend?

Ethan:​No. Sully actually told us after the Stetson game on Tuesday that they’re going to start Mace on Friday, and then Barco will get Sunday like usual, and then Saturday is still kind of up in the air. Sounds like they might either start Aleman or Scott, and then have Leftwich come in relief, because he still didn’t pitch very last week, Leftwich didn’t. They’re still trying to do everything they can to get him working, and that’s going to be out of the bullpen again this weekend.

Andrew:​I’m up in the air about it, Ethan and Baileigh, both. I’m up in the air whether I like it or not. If you get a start like you did Friday, Saturday from your two guys, and they did lose on Saturday, but if you get a start where you get, his name’s escaping me. Who started Friday night, Ethan?

Ethan:​It was actually Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Andrew:​Yeah. Who started Thursday?

Ethan:​Thursday was Aleman.

Andrew:​Aleman. If you get a start like Aleman, it works out perfect, because then you have Mace come in and close out the game, but if you get a start where Christian Scott kind of got you in some trouble early, then it doesn’t work out. I know that’s cliché to say, because you don’t know what start you’re going to get, but it’s just one of those things where it becomes a question, and if Mace and Leftwich are the guys we all think they’re going to be, they got to go back to being your guy, to where you get seven innings out of them. You use Christian Scott, who is your best bullpen arm, as an opener, he’s done for the rest of the weekend.

Ethan:​Yeah. Definitely for this team to get in the postseason and go as far as everybody expected them to go, they’re going to have to get Mace and Leftwich back to pitching like we thought they were going to. I will say that I do like the way that it kind of helped preserve their bullpen a little bit by going with the opener strategy, because they only had to use really, other than Aleman and Scott, everybody else was ready to go for the final game of the series, and even Aleman only threw 60 pitches in his start or something, so even he could have come out and thrown a little bit for them in Game 3, and they just didn’t need him. They have a very thin bullpen right now, and it sounds like it’s more about trying to get Aleman and Scott more innings than it necessarily is demoting Mace or Leftwich.

Andrew:​I’ll say this. Pitching will be fine, but they’ve got to figure out how to hit. Whoever told Jud Fabian that he needed to work on his launch angle more than he did last year, just doesn’t need to be around anymore. The guy is up there launch angle, launch angle. At last check he was leading the SEC in strikeouts. Ethan, I may be wrong on that now. Still to be a guy who at one time was the #5 overall prospect in the Draft, to come out and be as bad as he is at the plate, when he usually is a pretty good hitter.

Ethan:​He started to break out of it on Tuesday night against Stetson. He hit three or four balls really hard just right at guys, and I think picked up a hit. His problem is he’s just swinging for the fences and everything, which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, because he’s a guy who naturally has a lot of power. He’s going to hit a bunch of homeruns with just his normal swing, but he’s just swinging out of his shoes and pulling everything, and other teams know that, and they’re just blowing fastballs right by him in 0-2 counts. He’s got to start using the other field and going the other way with it and force them to respect him as a contact hitter.

Andrew:​Baileigh, that’s what I was going to say to you was Jaimie Hoover is the same way right now. It’s launch, launch, launch. Do I get it, the homeruns are sexy and everything else? Yeah, it is, but if you’re batting .150, and you got 50 homeruns, you’re not very good.

Baileigh:​No, and she’s been that way her whole career, honestly. Not to pick on her. She’s actually, I think, been a little bit better this year, until these last couple games or so. That’sjust not going to work, especially in softball. There’s too many hitters right now who are trying to do that. Even KendylLindaman, I think she’s trying a little too hard at the plate right now. They’ve got to get her back going. This weekend is a good weekend to kind of get the swings back before you play Alabama next weekend, so it’ll be a good test.

Andrew:​Let’s move around to football here just a little bit. You had the spring game. That’s over with and done. You had Jahari Rogers transfer. We kind of talked a little bit about that earlier, last week. Wanted to kind of dive into that a little bit more with both of y’all. As much it pains me to say, I think you have to look at the transfer portal to get a corner. I don’t know that you can go into next year relying just on Jaydon Hill, KaiirElam, and Jason Marshall as the three corners that you really can count on, because you don’t know that you’re going to get out of Avery Helm. You don’t know what you’re going to get out of Ethan Pouncey, two guys who are injured still. I don’t know though. I’m not fully committed to it, and that was going to be my question to you guys. Do you think it’s transfer portal time for at least one corner?

Baileigh:​I would like to see it, honestly. I think Florida can make it work, but even Mullen in, I think it was his last spring press conference, said something about they had those four, maybe five, guys that they’re comfortable with putting on the field right now if the season were to start today, but they want to get that number up to seven or eight. The numbers aren’t on the roster right now, so at some point you have to start searching.


Ethan:​I agree they need to go out and get somebody, because they have three corners that they can feel reasonably good about right now. The only thing is are they any corners out there in the portal that would be worth getting, or is it just picking somebody just to take one at this point?

Andrew:​At lot of teams are still going through the spring, so you’re looking at seeing more guys enter. There was the West Virginia kid. He ended up going to Georgia to follow his former DB coach to there. So, you can’t really be mad about that one or upset about that one. Obviously, you have to weigh. Are you getting someone just to get someone, or are you getting someone who you think can contribute? If you’re getting someone just to get someone, then it’s no point. If you’re getting someone that you think can contribute, and I don’t say contribute as a starter. Contribute as just a guy for depth. I think we all agree by Game 3 it’ll probably be Jason Marshall and Kaiir Elam starting. I don’t think you roll Marshall out Game 1, but I think you definitely are going to roll him out later in the season, as long as he continues to improve as the starter. Let’s just say Kaiir Elam cramps up in the game, or something else. Do you trust someone else to go out there? I don’t know. Jaydon Hill may be improved enough to be that guy. We’ll see.

Baileigh:​That’s what I was going to say. If one of these guys tears an ACL or something, then you’re done. You’ll have to start working some of those guys in there. I think, even if you’re not going to get a guy who’s going to be a starter, or even play a ton, you need some more depth back there.

Andrew:​Let me ask both of you guys this. We look at the transfer portal. Obviously, we know offensive line is a must, finding a tackle or two or four or 10 or whatever wants to come is the obvious #1 goal. Ethan, outside of offensive line, are you looking at another position that you say, they need to go get a player, if he’s good enough?

Ethan:​One obvious position I think would be tight end, because they already tried to get a guy out of the transfer portal once with Eric Gilbert, and that didn’t work out. They don’treally have any game breaking pass catching tight end like Kyle Pitts was. I mean, there’s not going to be anybody out there that’s like Kyle Pitts, but similar style wise they can find somebody. Then maybe linebacker would be the other spot. They’ve got a lot of athletic guys, but not anybody that’s got any kind of track record of playing well against the run, other than Ventrell Miller.


Baileigh:​Going back to what you said about tight end. I think it’s good that we at least saw that Nick Elksnis, I think that’s how you say his last name, had a really good spring, so you are starting to get some more players there than maybe you expected to have ready for this season. I mean, I don’tnecessarily know that tight end is a place where Florida has to go out and get somebody.

Ethan:​I don’t think they have a position where they absolutely need somebody desperately, but that would be the one spot where it’d probably be priority #1 if they were going to add somebody at this point.

Andrew:​Obviously, you don’t have that #1 guy, and that’s a concern. Do you really rely on a freshman to come in and to be that guy to lead the way? Especially with Mullen’s offense. Mullen’s offense is an offense that really likes the tight end play, so you got to have a situation where you have someone you can count on. Kemore Gamble at times was good. At times Keon Zipperer showed us some things. But I don’t know that either one of them are your elite guys. Like you said, you went and got Eric Gilbert already, lost him. If you find someone that’s in the portal, and you can get him, go get him. Like you said, at linebacker. Obviously, if you can find a middle linebacker that can backup Ventrell Miller, absolutely. I’ll go back to it. Find tackles. If you got to take every available roster spot for a tackle, take up every roster spot for a tackle.

Baileigh:​I agree with that. Definitely. I think as many of those as Florida can go out and get, they should go get, and kind of just leave the rest of it as it is. If there’s someone that you absolutely can’t turn down, then go get them, but make sure you’re filling up that offensive line there.

Ethan:​Pretty much anybody they could get would be an upgrade at right tackle. Left tackle I think Richard Gouraige will be fine, but right tackle, and even right guard to a lesser degree, have some room for improvement, to say the least.

Andrew:​Absolutely. Let’s go to recruiting a little bit now. You look at the recruiting class already. You got some good players already there. Biggest thing for me in the recruiting class is finding some defensive tackles. Finding some defensive tackles that can come in and replace Shelton, or Valentine that you call him now, replace Newkirk, those guys, to continue to add depth there. Baileigh, I’ll start with you. What’s your biggest need, in your opinion, in the 2022 class?

Baileigh:​I’m going to have to agree with you there. Honestly, I haven’t even started looking at 2022 yet. I’m still trying to get through spring and move into fall here. I think you definitely need to get some guys there, because, like you said, they’re going to be losing those two after this season, and you had some spotty classes there that you really need to start making up for here. Besides that, let’s see. I don’t know. Go ahead with you, Ethan. Let me think on this one a few minutes.

Ethan:​Two obvious spots that would stand out to me would be get some real offensive tackles in here, instead of trying to take people who should be guards and trying to convert them into tackles. That experiment just is not going too well at this point. Then get some more depth at cornerback, because with Jahari Rogers leaving you have five scholarship corners, at least one of which is probably leaving after this year in Kaiir Elam. You need to start getting that next group of guys ready to go in the secondary. Then strong side defensive end, with Zach Carter gone after this year, you don’t really have an heir apparent in place there. You got some guys that you feel good about, like Justus Boone or Princely Umanmielen, but they still need to continue to build depth and get bigger at that position.

Baileigh:​I’m going to give you props for saying his name right there.

Andrew:​I was going to say. Give me that name five times.

Baileigh:​Rolled that off your tongue.

Ethan:​Princely Umanmielen. Princely Umanmielen. Princely Umanmielen. Princely Umanmielen. Princely Umanmielen. What do I win?

Andrew:​That’s a name.


Andrew:​Baileigh, what you got?

Baileigh:​I guess I have to agree with Ethan on those there. Gosh, honestly, Andrew, I need you to just take over on that.

Andrew:​Defensive line, obviously. D tackle is mine. Then obviously they have the really good tight end in CJ Hawkins committed already. Jaleel Skinner is another guy that they’re in on, and he’s another big athletic tight end. You have Oscar Delp, another guy at tight end. You have both of those guys, I think, there. I know this is a little surprising, because of the receivers, but obviously getting one or two elite receivers. You only took two last year in Burke and Daejon Reynolds. I don’t want to say you’ll lose Jacob Copeland, but you could lose Jacob Copeland this year with a good year. You’ll have Henderson going into his junior year the following year, so you kind of need to start adding some guys there as well.

​Then, obviously, tackles. Offensive tackles. You got to have offensive tackles in the class. You’re down to basically two guys. Outside of Gouraige and Delance, is there really a true tackle on the roster? They don’t feel like Tarquin’s there, more of an inside guy in their opinion, so who’s your true tackles after those two guys?

Baileigh:​Yeah. That’s a good point.

Ethan:​Maybe a Josh Braun could move to right tackle at some point, but that’s about it.

Andrew:​Right. Let’s hit on that. Corey Bell’s back, former DB coach is now back as an analyst, and he’s gotten some props from a couple players, including the big cornerback from Miami, Earl Little. I said this on the thread when we were talking about him coming back. I just think that it’s good. It’sgood from a recruiting standpoint, but it’s also good because if you do have a chafe with Wesley McGriff, who’s moved around a lot in his career, if Jules Montinar moves on, you have a guy in Corey Bell who’s ready to go. He’s coached at Florida before. He’s coached at UCF before. Played at South Carolina. He has the ability to coach in the SEC. You wouldn’t lose a lot there, but you also gain a really strong recruiter in the Miami area as well.

Baileigh:​I think that’s a big deal, and I think that’s something that Florida and a lot of programs are starting to do now. They’re trying to bring these guys in in these analyst roles to basically be a backup for when they start losing guys. They brought Garrick McGee in just as a defensive analyst, and they were able to just go ahead and promote him up to quarterbacks coach, because they knew that he had that experience there, and he would be a good fit. I mean, I don’t know that that was the plan all along, but it’s definitely something that you think about whenever you go out and get these guys. I think it’s huge to have someone there that is already in house, if you want to make some changes.

Ethan:​It’s a little bit different with Corey Bell, because he’s not an analyst. He’s actually in the recruiting department.

Baileigh:​Right. I just meant putting guys on staff. I didn’tnecessarily mean as an analyst.

Andrew:​Let’s just be honest. Recruiting staff, analyst, they all do the same.

Ethan:​It’s all the same. They just have to call it something different for NCAA rules.

Andrew:​Exactly. We’ll see. Let’s move to basketball. Ethan, you and I were really tough on Mike White last week with all the transfers. Then Scottie Lewis transferred, or went to the NBA, excuse me, right afterwards. They did pick up two transfers this week. Are you ready to be nice to him again, Ethan?

Ethan:​Not really. I wasn’t expecting them to only go into next season with seven scholarship players, so I was anticipating them adding some people.

Andrew:​They were two good players.

Ethan:​Well, Brandon McKissic is a really good player. CJ Felder, nine points or something at Boston College. Not a terrific add. McKissic’s got a chance, I think, to be the best scorer the Gators have added through transfer since EgorKoulechov.


Baileigh:​You’ve still got to go out and get more at this point. You’ve got to just keep adding those guys. I like Mike White as a person. It pains me to talk about him, but I know things are getting pretty rough around there. I wasn’t around for last podcast, so what were y’all talking about then?

Andrew:​Ethan, give her the rundown.

Baileigh:​Give it to me.

Ethan:​We talked about the exodus of players and how they don’t have a stable roster, and they just turn it over year after year. We talked about the late game collapse against Oral Roberts. I think that just about covers it.

Andrew:​Just the inconsistency mainly, from the years. It’srightfully so. They’ve been very inconsistent. The transfer guys, the guys who’ve all transferred out, is definitely a concern. This is what Eric and I were talking about, and we’ll have to get Eric on here next time or something and talk about this. Eric and I had discussions about this. If you’re upgrading in positions, then it’s okay, but if you’re not upgrading, and you’re just adding guys to fill out your roster, then that’s when it becomes a problem and troublesome. We’ll see. There’s just a lot to uncover and lot to go, a lot of time to go, a lot of players to go after. You’ve basically got to win a lot of these big matchups against some of the big ones. You did with Brandon against Kansas, so you just got to keep doing that.

Baileigh:​I think they will, just because Mike White has shown in his time at Florida that he can go out and get these recruits and these transfers that you wouldn’t necessarily expect him to get, but once you get them, you’ve got to start doing something with them. Every year it’s like we go in so excited that we’ve got all these awesome players on the roster, and then it doesn’t turn out to be what you think it is. So, something is going to have to start changing there.

I think you guys probably saw that Stricklin was pretty, I guess, kind in a radio interview about Mike White, saying that he had full confidence in him and that he would be coaching at Florida for a long time, which what are you going to say? You’re not going to say, “I’m going to fire my coach. He’s not any good.” I just wanted to see what y’all’s thoughts were on him saying that. He said he knows when to fire a coach when he doesn’t have confidence in him anymore, and apparently, he still has confidence in Mike White to get it done.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. Like you said, what’d you expect him to say? He wasn’t going to fire him this year. What do you expect him to say? Basically, it’s just BS. That’s basically how I can describe it to a tee. It’s BS. We don’t know if he’s going to be here in 20 years. We don’t know if he’s going to be here in five years. We don’t know if he’s going to be here one year. I guarantee you, next year if he has another terrible year, Scott Stricklin’s going to think long and hard about firing him. He’snot going to remember this whole conversation about I said he was going to be here forever.

I didn’t expect him to fire him. It was Covid, and like Ethan and I said last podcast, it was a tough year mentally and physically for Mike White and this basketball team, first of all. Then second of all, the buyout is tremendous, so you have that problem there. It is what it is with Scott Stricklin and his comments. Do I agree with it? No. I think Mike White has a ton to prove. I think it was Scott Drew was in Year 12 or something when he won the championship with Baylor. Florida fans ain’t going to be that patient.



Ethan:​Also, they shouldn’t be as patient either, because Baylor was a disaster when Scott Drew got there.

Andrew:​Right. That’s the thing. It was a different scenario.

Baileigh:​I didn’t expect him to be fired either, even though everyone was calling for his head. It wasn’t going to happen this year. Like you said, there’s just too much going on. The whole Keyontae thing. You don’t know what would have happened if he was able to play throughout the season. So, no, but I think you’re right at the seat is going to start getting really hot if things aren’t on a much better track next season. I don’t know. I am pulling for him to turn it around. I really don’t know who Florida honestly would go out and get who’s going to do much better immediately.

Andrew:​That’s your second point of why you can’t fire him this year. You look at Indiana. Did they make a splash hire? No, and they were one of the past bluebloods. You look at North Carolina. They just promoted within. As we’re taping this, Sean Miller at Arizona is fired. Who are they going to go get?

Ethan:​I did like the possibility of Porter Moser at Loyola Chicago though, who’s now at Oklahoma. If they were going to make a move, that would be probably the guy they would have gone after. Obviously, they decided to stay put with what they had.

Andrew:​I’ll say this. My boy at South Alabama, Mr. Richie Riley turned down Utah State to stay with the Jags. Go Jags.

Ethan:​That would have been a lateral move, probably.

Andrew:​No. It would have doubled his pay.

Ethan:​Okay. Increase in salary went sideways in that little competition.

Baileigh:​Do they have something on him? They got some dirt on him or something?

Andrew:​He’s built a really good roster. He has his family settled in down here, and kind of Ethan said. I mean, obviously Utah State is, what, Mountain West? Is that right.

Ethan:​Really good Mountain West team though.

Andrew:​But still. Who wants to live in Utah?

Baileigh:​Not me.

Andrew:​Not me either. I don’t know. Y’all just give me happiness. I was happy. I was trying to bring happiness.

Baileigh:​I just wanted to know. Go ahead.

Ethan:​We’ll let you be happy about this. How about the Atlanta Braves?

Baileigh:​How are they doing?

Andrew:​Ethan, you will be booted off this podcast immediately and banned. I think I can make a call and remove you from Gator Country. We do not like talking about the Braves and their 0-4 record as they’re losing in a double-header on Wednesday.

Ethan:​Maybe I’m jinxing it, and they’ll win a couple of games today, or on Wednesday.

Andrew:​Maybe. We’ll see. It’s heartbreaking, and we lost the All-Star game, and I can’t talk about that, because Ethan and I had some issues with that on Twitter, but that’s heartbreaking as well. Let’s see here. I wanted to get on that. Randy Shannon to FSU.

Baileigh:​He’s completing his Florida tour.

Andrew:​USF next, and then he’ll have to hit the smaller schools, the FIUs of the world, the FAUs of the world, FAMU. He’ll have to hit those. I was starting to look at it, but then I got tired of looking at it. I did not find a coach who’d been at all three of the major three programs. Do y’all remember anyone?

Baileigh:​Not that I know of. They’ve been talking about someone’s doing it in Alabama too. I can’t remember what the name of the person is. Did you see that on Twitter? There’ssomeone in Alabama.

Andrew:​Kevin Steele has been at both Alabama and Auburn. I’m not sure. Still, those are the big four. Obviously, the big three and then the fourth one is absolutely UCF, but still. You look at that, and you kind of think about, and you say that’s kind of weird.

Baileigh:​I guess you just go where people are hiring.

Ethan:​I thought it was kind of weird when Tim Brewster came to Florida after having coached at Florida State for a while. Randy Shannon is just all kinds of conflicted.

Andrew:​Yeah. Miami blueblood down there. I’ll say this. I might get bashed for it. The times have passed Randy Shannon by as far as his defense go, so good move for him. He’s still drawing a paycheck doing what he loves. Good for him. We’llsee how it works out. We’ll see. Does Norvell get things going at FSU, or do they continue to be absolute trash up in Tallahassee?

Baileigh:​I don’t see things getting much better any time soon there, from my standpoint.

Ethan:​They do have a good quarterback now though.

Andrew:​They’re a basketball school now.

Ethan:​Baseball too. They blew out Florida.

Baileigh:​And a softball school.

Andrew:​What’s their record in baseball? Y’all know?

Ethan:​I don’t know their record. They’re ranked 16 or 17 or something.

Andrew:​Then they’re getting better. Nice to see Mike Martin, Jr. doing well there. I guess let’s look ahead real quick. Softball doesn’t really have a series, but let’s look at Rocky Top real quick, before we get out of here, Ethan. Pretty good team. Swept LSU, correct?

Ethan:​Yeah, they did. They’re 7-2 maybe in SEC play. I don’t have the stats in front of me.

Andrew:​LSU cried about it. I remember LSU cried about it. Their coach was like, Tennessee fans were rude.

Ethan:​LSU is 1-8 right now.

Andrew:​Wow. That is incredible. To see LSU 1-8 is insane. I guess, give me the keys. I know you haven’t looked at it a ton, but give me the keys this weekend.

Ethan:​They’ve got to figure out a way to win on the road. They only won one road game this entire season, and that was at UNF, which isn’t very good. They’ve just got to find a way to get the bats going consistently. They had 13 hits on Tuesday night against Stetson. That was the first time in seven or eight games they’ve gotten to double figures in hits. A couple guys in particular, they got to get going. Jud Fabian, like we talked about earlier, can’t go 0-13 with 11 strikeouts on the road again, like ever again. Josh Rivera’s got to figure out a way to be able to throw the ball to first, which is his biggest problem.

Andrew:​Right. What’s the status of, is it Guscette? Is that how you say it?

Ethan:​Guscette. He’s probably going to be out for a while.

Andrew:​Is it a broken forearm?

Ethan:​Sully said it was a non-dislocated fracture in his forearm, which I’m not really sure what exactly that entails, but they’re going to get more x-rays in a couple weeks and go from there.

Andrew:​Non-dislocated fracture.

Ethan:​Probably looking at May at the earliest, I would think, before he’s back.

Andrew:​Kyle Greenfield’s got to hit.

Ethan:​If they even choose to go with him. I think you’reprobably going to see Nathan Hickey get most of the time behind the plate now.

Andrew:​Then who goes to first?

Ethan:​Butler’s still playing first, and then probably have Chris Armstrong DHing primarily.

Andrew:​There you go. That’s a blow. Guscette was a solid backstop back there. Either one of y’all got any final thoughts before we get out of here?

Baileigh:​I don’t really have much. You did mention that there’s not a series this weekend for softball, but like I said earlier, they did add some games against Western Kentucky, so that’s at least a little softball to watch. They’re playing Canada’s professional team. At least a little bit of softball going on there. Hopefully get some bats going this weekend, watch some more homeruns. I don’t really have much to add.

Ethan:​We can talk about the new way they’re going to do Regionals for baseball, and probably softball too.

Andrew:​You just want to get me mad, Ethan. You just want to get me mad.

Ethan:​That’s my new fallback.

Andrew:​Go ahead, because you had a good point on social media about it, so go ahead. Give me your thoughts. I’ll go off your thoughts.

Ethan:​First, for those that don’t know, what they’re going to do basically is instead of announcing the Regional host at the end of the season on Memorial Day, like they normally do, it’s going to be announced, they have to submit their bids by mid-April, and then they’ll announce the Regional host at the end of April based off of merit, who are like the top 16 teams at the time. With the idea being that it’s going to take two or three weeks to set up Covid protocols. I’m not exactly sure what that entails. That’s the way they’re going to do it.

Baileigh:​Doesn’t every team already have their own? Everyone has their own setup, so what’s the deal?

Ethan:​Maybe because there’s four teams, and it takes more hotel rooms. I don’t know.

Andrew:​It just doesn’t make sense to me, because every team has their own Covid protocols. Every team is tested. Baseball’s tested every day, correct? Or is it every other day?

Ethan:​I think it’s probably three times a week, like it is for every other sport.

Andrew:​Okay. I wasn’t sure. I know in the Minors and the Majors and that kind of stuff they’re doing it every day for baseball only. Still, you look at it like that. Everybody has their protocols. It just doesn’t make sense to me to get out ahead that much. You announce your Regionals usually on the Sunday, and then brackets usually come out on Monday, on Memorial Day. Correct? Am I right, or am I wrong?

Ethan:​They announce the Regional hosts on that Sunday, and then the Monday, which is Memorial day, they come out with the full bracket.

Andrew:​So, you have Sunday to Friday to get everything in order. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Go ahead.

Ethan:​If it’s going to take extra time, what you could do is just tell like the top 30 teams, start making preparations now, and then you just cut off 14 of them if you need to. It doesn’tmake a whole lot of sense, especially since you see teams during the regular season all the time will schedule a game on two day’s notice, because they had an opening. So, that’s okay, but a week of preparation isn’t enough time?

Andrew:​Right. Go ahead, Baileigh.

Baileigh:​I honestly think it’s just they’re doing it for looks. They want the world to know that they are taking precautions, and they’re doing things the right way, so you’re announcing that you’re doing something to try to make things better. Whether it does or not, I think that’s the goal behind it. Just like during basketball season we see the benches spread out. Everyone’s six feet away from their teammates, when you’re practicing with them every single day. It’s not going to change anything. It’s for optics.

Andrew:​Right. In the NCAA Tournament they had them 8-10 feet apart. Listen, I understand it. Applaud the people in Indianapolis, because the tournament went without a hitch. I think there was only one game postponed, and that was the first game, or in the second round now. So, tremendous respect to those guys for doing that. I don’t see it. If you’re that worried about it, then why not just select 16 hosts and do your own precautionary things there. Maybe I’m overreacting to it. I just don’t like it. I think it’s stupid. I don’t like it.

Baileigh:​You work so hard all season. That’s like your goal is to be that Regional host, be a Super Regional host.

Andrew:​Especially with more fans now. Everybody’sgetting more fans.

Baileigh:​Yeah. It doesn’t make sense. I’m not for it either.

Ethan:​Especially when the way baseball and softball are played each site is basically a bubble already. What is there to be concerned about?

Andrew:​Right. Exactly. Again, is it a look, a perception thing? Probably. It probably is. Who knows? Guys, we’re going to get bashed, I’m sure, because we don’t take it seriously enough or something. I’m sure it’s coming. It is what it is. I don’t like it.

​Real quick, I did say this John Miller stuff. He’s fired. Also, former FSU receiver Travis Rudolph arrested on first-degree murder charges.


Baileigh:​That’s news.

Andrew:​I will say this. I am floored by that. Travis Rudolph was one of the most quietest respectful kids I’ve ever seen in the recruiting world. I’m shocked by it. I really am shocked. I will be interested to follow this to see if he’sconvicted on it, or if it’s just something else. I don’t know. It’swild.

Ethan:​It’s always the quiet ones you got to watch out for. That’s what they say anyway.

Andrew:​So, Ethan, you’re the one we got to worry about, right?

Ethan:​I don’t ever plan on killing anybody, but …

Andrew:​Just messing around. One thing, before we do get out of here, Gators gymnastics, not this coming weekend, but the following weekend, will be in Texas for the championship meet. Gators should get Trinity Thomas back for the full rounds.

Baileigh:​I love watching her. I don’t watch muchgymnastics, but she’s just so fun to watch. I think the gymnastics team is awesome this year. I’ve seen a few of their meets. I know you’ve been following a little more closely than I have.

Andrew:​My wife likes to watch it, so I watch it a little bit. I don’t understand it very much, because they all look the same pretty much, unless they fall and bust their heads open.

Ethan:​I’m to the point where I can tell you what the score is going to be after I see a routine, but I don’t have any idea why it’s that score.

Baileigh:​They didn’t point their pinkie toe.

Andrew:​Here’s the deal, Ethan. I want to see you get on the vault.

Ethan:​I can maybe walk across the balance beam. Maybe.

Andrew:​No way I could walk on the balance beam. No way.

Baileigh:​I used to do gymnastics. I was pretty good, until I was like 12.

Andrew:​Let’s see Baileigh post-baby on the beam.

Baileigh:​Okay. I’ll get that as soon as I can find a beam.

Andrew:​There you go. Any final thoughts? Anybody else got any final thoughts?

Baileigh:​I’m good, guys.

Ethan:​I’m good.

Baileigh:​I don’t have anything.

Andrew:​Ethan, you’re good as well. We appreciate it, guys. We’ll be on the call all weekend. Baileigh will have softball, and Ethan will have baseball up in Rocky Top. Be filling in and doing whatever else is popping up, because it’s never a dull moment. Maybe Mike White picks up another transfer. We’llsee. Maybe the Gators in football get a commit or something. I don’t expect that to happen. Is lining up to be a busy summer of official visits. Thank God. Yeah. Follow us on social media at GatorCountry.com and on Facebook @GatorCountry. Let us know what you think about the podcast, and we’ll be back next week to do another one. Thanks, guys.

Baileigh:​Thanks, guys.


Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.