Mike White

Mike White

Mediocrity has long plagued this basketball team and there does not seem to be a cure.

Maybe mediocrity isn’t the right word. That would insinuate this squad is consistently a .500 team.

Fans, media members and spectators are now coming to the realization that the chances of a great win or a horrendous loss for UF is as likely as a coin landing on heads.

There are days like the 81-75 win against Georgia last week where UF stormed back from 22 points down to defeat a now 12-11 squad. Then there are days like Saturday.

Florida’s latest loss, this time at the hands of an average Ole Miss team, drops Florida’s record to 14-9 and an abysmal 2-5 on the road.

This was supposed to be the easy part of Florida’s schedule before the Gators battle with some of the top teams in the SEC and eventually the postseason. Now, it is becoming clearer that there’s no remedy for the litany of game-to-game problems this team has.

The Gators haven’t had much to hang their hat on as of late, but one thing they have been able to take care of is the ball. UF only has a 17.5 percent turnover percentage, according to KenPom, good enough for third in the SEC.

Yet Florida coughed up the rock 15 times in Oxford, Mississippi, on Saturday. Recently, coach Mike White has preached that his team’s offense has greatly improved while its defense has regressed significantly.

That wasn’t the case when UF shot just 33 percent from the field against Ole Miss and allowed three Rebel players to reach double digits.

Anywhere the Gators travel, they typically leave inconsistency in their wake. Florida is now 3-4 in its last seven with each game different from the last.

The truth of the matter is there is a tendency for anyone who follows this team to expect this. Whether it’s a drubbing of then-No. 4 Auburn or the biggest comeback of the season against Georgia, you know the lows have to come with the highs.

White sees this trend as well. The fifth-year coach has held more media availabilities scratching his head and calling out his team than he would like.

“As I talked about after our last game against Georgia: ‘Great comeback! Great win! But why are we down 22, if you’re a high-level team?’” White said in a release. “You can feel good about the result, but not about the way you played for 40 (minutes).”

It’s not a Florida basketball press conference without White being blunt with his opinion on his team.

White has called the Gators soft, the worst defensive team he has ever coached and more, so far this season and, come Monday, I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say after UF’s worst road loss of the season.

The ailments are substantial with Florida’s sickness. Lack of shooting, defense, maturity or accountability, take your pick.

If this trend continues and no cure is found, this team won’t live to see March.

Follow Joseph on Twitter @JSalvadorSports and contact him a [email protected]

Joseph Salvador is a Sports Journalism student at the University of Florida and was previously Sports Editor for Broward College's newspaper The Observer. He has been with the Alligator since Summer 2019.