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Florida’s men’s basketball team earned a big win on Sunday when it took down the No. 20 Florida State Seminoles at the O’Connell Center. It was UF’s first win over FSU since 2013 and also the first win in the series under coach Mike White.
After snapping a seven-game skid to the Seminoles to move to 2-0 on the young season, the Gators moved into the AP Top 25 at No. 24. Though they still haven’t cracked the top 25 of ESPN’s basketball power rankings, they are “in the waiting room” alongside Tennessee and North Carolina, and they will likely find themselves ranked if they can win another game or two.
Florida struggled to defend during SEC play last season, so Mike White went out and landed arguably the best defensive class in the country from the portal. It showed on Sunday, as the Gators held Florida State to 55 points, 35% shooting from inside the arc and just over 0.80 points per possession. White’s top six players this season are seniors; they could be a factor in the SEC.
Florida’s defense certainly appears to be elite, and the offense is running a lot smoother with this current group than it has in the past. It was a boom or bust strategy to rely so heavily on the transfer portal this offseason, but through two games, it seems to have been a good choice.
The Gators return to action on Thursday for a game against Milwaukee at the O’Dome.