Within his first six weeks at Florida, Mike White finished putting the past behind him.
He had already analyzed film from 32 of Florida’s games from the previous year, already sought advice from the coaches he was replacing, asking them about players’ tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, and already called recruits to make sure they were still committed.
It wasn’t until 21 minutes into White’s first UF media day, which came more than four months after he was introduced as Billy Donovan’s successor, that the 38-year old coach was asked to revisit the past.
"We’re all ready to turn the page, and this is about this year’s team," White said.
Back in May, as White began to build for the future, his first step was to review what he was inheriting.
The coach wanted to pinpoint the mistakes of last year’s team, fix them, and then build on the positives.
"We’re a different team. We’re a new staff," White said. "We’re going to have a bunch of new ways of doing things."
That includes a new offensive and defensive philosophy, one that will be installed during practice over the next two months.
Florida will play with more pace offensively and press more on defense.
Considering the team’s length, it makes sense — nine of UF’s 16 players are 6-foot-6 or taller.
"I think we’re an athletic team," White said. "I’d like to play fast. I think that we can play fast offensively. To what extent defensively, we’ll find out."
The former Louisiana Tech coach said his first task, before beginning to install an offense, is establishing an intense defense.
The players have taken notice.
"I can say from workouts so far, the pace of the practices is so much faster," redshirt senior Dorian Finney-Smith said.
White doesn’t plan on putting an offense in place until two or three weeks before the season begins.
By that time, White believes he’ll have a better grasp of his team’s strengths and weaknesses.
And while the players have only undergone limited practices so far — one-hour sessions just two or three times per week — most of them agree that White’s system fits their style of play.
"I like to run and gun, get up and down," sophomore forward Devin Robinson said.
"I really think that’s gonna help my game, help me flourish to be the player I can be. I think the style is going to really help us in the way we want to play."
As much as White and his coaching staff will change Florida’s system, they will also keep what worked.
He praised Florida’s half-court defense last year and asked returning players to identify aspects of last year’s team they thought were most successful.
"He’s been great. From the first day he got here… he took the time to get to know a lot of us on a deeper level," forward Alex Murphy said.
"He obviously has a pretty good idea and a feel for the way we played and some of the things we did well and some of the things we didn’t do so well."
Now, as practices begin and as the season draws closer, White is finished discussing the past.
Above all else, White wants to begin anew, just as he did four years ago at Louisiana Tech.
"There’s going to be some trial and error," White said.
"The one thing we do know is we have all the support in the world. We have all the resources to be successful."
Follow Ian Cohen on Twitter @icohenb
New Florida men's basketball coach Mike White speaks to the media during the team's media day Sept. 29, 2015, at the UF Women's Club.