The Florida Gators basketball team underwhelmed last year due to injuries, inconsistent offense, and defense, and a talent difference between the perineal powers of college Basketball.
So, what does Head Coach Mike White do to finally get his team over the hump, and out of the shadow of Billy Donovan?
First, he signs five-star Point Guard Andrew Nembhard, in the 2018 class to bring size for the position (6’4), and elite passing ability that should be able to keep the offense flowing smoothly. With the very talented Nembhard as a captain of a ship that is looking for a new leader now that Chris Chiozza is now gone, he should be the one that can bring a team without an identity, but weaponry, together and have a pretty interesting season.
Now how does Mike White top himself with bringing in such a talented player like Andrew Nembhard?
Oh, nothing major, how about bring in the 4th best class in the country, which second highest recruiting class ever at the University of Florida, according to 247 Sports.
The class that takes the top spot in that discussion is the 2010 class lead by Patrick Young, and Scottie Wilbekin.
By the way this class went on to go to four straight Elite Eights, and a one Final Four appearance, so their ranking lived up to the hype.
According to 247 Sports, the 2019 class is ranked higher, in their respective rankings, than the 2004 class that brought in the members of one of two teams to ever go back to back in NCAA history. Al Horford,
Corey Brewer, and Joakim Noah among others, were ranked 8th nationally.
The 2019 class consist of only three players, but each player is ranked in the top 50 nationally, which means each prospect is an elite talent at their positions.
With the success of Mike White bringing in Point Guards and perimeter players, many wondered if he valued big men to bring success to his team, as he has never brought in a dominant post threat in each of his first three recruiting cycles.
That thought process has ended, as Omar Payne becomes the first Center that Mike White has brought in. At 6’9 215lbs you may say he is a bit small to be the 10th overall center in the class of 2019. His 7’5 wingspan, and quick bounce is what makes him look like the answer to the Gators post defense woes they’ve had since the departure of Patrick Young.
Finally, the Gators have a true big man that a defense can depend on, which in college basketball one man is all you need. White also has brought in athleticism, and offensive explosion that can really take his team to National Championship contention.
Tre Mann (we will have to see what Andrew Nembhard does) could walk out being the best Point Guard to come through the University of Florida. At 6’3 170lbs, his strongest skill set is deep three-point shooting, and elite shot creating ability that many compares to Stephen Curry. He is the 25th ranked prospect in the class of 2019.
Lastly, Mike White has brought in I think the best all-around prospect since Bradley Beal, Scottie Lewis, out of Eatontown, New Jersey is a freak of nature.
The 6’5 185lb wing, has every facet to his game necessary to become a two-way star at the next level, and even possibly the first lottery pick under Mike White. Right now, Scottie is the 11th ranked prospect in the class of 2019, so Gators should get ready for some high-flying dunks, and disheartening blocks next season.
If Andrew Nembhard decides to break the five-star, one and done mentality of most highly recruited basketball players in 2019, the Gators will have at least three possible five-stars in the starting lineup.
The Gators finally have the talent to really compete with the other top powers once it gets deep into the tournament, for the next couple of seasons.