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Florida coach Mike White calls loss to Kentucky “deflating” in somber presser

We hear the “Kentucky is everyone’s Super Bowl” narrative all the time, but some teams prove that more than others from time to time. On road games, opposing fanbases are always rowdy when Kentucky comes to town, but depending on the circumstance, some atmospheres seem to be a bit more invested than others.

At 12-8 on the year, the Florida Gators were in desperate need of a quality win to swing momentum back their way on the season, and the 10,763 fans lining the Stephen C. O’Connell Center this afternoon showed just that.

For the first 26 minutes of the game, that desperation factor worked for the Gators, pushing the lead to 11 points with 13:59 remaining in the second half. Even from there, Florida still maintained a lead with just five minutes remaining.

Unfortunately for the Gator faithful and that oh-so-rowdy O’Dome environment, Kentucky flipped a switch and found a way to grind out the 65-54 road victory.

When asked about his thoughts on the game, Florida head coach Mike White was visibly distraught. Devastated, even.

He knew he put in a solid gameplan and his group gave it their all for the vast majority of the game. It just wasn’t enough against an elite opponent like Kentucky.

Umm…. it’s tough,” he said. “Tough. For (roughly) 30 minutes, we played well enough to… beat a terrific team who has been playing really, really well. We just couldn’t hold on…

“It was a mixture of both offense and defense. Defense failed us in this one probably as much as it has in any of our losses. Most of it has been offense. Some of that is we weren’t able to get out in transition because we couldn’t get any stops. We had a string of missed shots, not enough urgency in transition defense, open three, bucket. We get a big basket, the place is going crazy, we’re in our 1-2-2, three-quarter court zone press, and they just throw it over to a guy who dunks the ball. You know, they deserved to win. Deflating? Yes. Back to work tomorrow? Absolutely.”

What happened down the stretch for Florida to crumble and allow Kentucky to come back and grind out the victory? The Wildcat defense turned it up a notch and made things uncomfortable for the Gators.

“They [Kentucky] made some adjustments,” White said. “They switched a lot and we got a little stagnant. Their bigs did a terrific job of staying in front of the basketball, utilizing their length, both at the perimeter and at the rim. We had some that were right there that just didn’t go for us, the majority of our shots were contested. They were terrific defensively.

“We had a couple of very long dry spells, if I remember correctly, it just felt like we couldn’t score for a couple of days there. Couldn’t find a way. We were trying to generate different ways and we just couldn’t find a way to get it to go for us. Then I thought that it affected our defensive energy a little bit, gave up a dunk in our zone press, a couple kick ahead threes due to a lack of communication. They stepped up and made big shots, we helped them with a few mistakes. You can say “coach, we just made a few of them [mistakes],” but you can’t do that against a Top-10 team. We’ve got to be more accountable defensively. They were terrific defensively.”

White said the team was simply worn out down the stretch, and the Wildcats are to thank for that.

“Yeah, we were fatigued down the stretch,” he said. “I thought we played with a lot of energy, emotion, the place was rocking, and I rode those guys. We’re not the deepest team and I probably rode those guys too many minutes.”

You can check out his somber presser below:

For Kentucky, this won’t be the last time this season they make a trip to take on a talented SEC opponent in front of a hostile crowd. And they may not all turn out like they did against Florida.

After what we saw this evening, along with their four previous road matchups in conference play, however, Kentucky fans have every right to be encouraged. It may be demoralizing to be the villain on the road for the opposition, but it’s been pretty fun on our side of things.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

31 Comments for Florida coach Mike White calls loss to Kentucky “deflating” in somber presser

  1. Ridge Runner
    10:17 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Story of our life.. UK playing on the road in hostile environment and a team plays above itself. Always has been & always will.

    • wildcat74
      7:24 am February 3, 2019 Permalink


  2. WatchutalkinboutWillis
    10:23 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    But how could this college basketball coach say that UK made adjustments that lead to their victory when every know-it-all, negative commenter on KSR knows for a fact that Calipari just rolls out the ball and can’t coach?

    • 4everUKblue
      7:25 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah Cal’s got to go, can’t coach, hate the one and dones, he can’t get the top recruits anymore (which are one and dones) but he’s a recruiter not a coach. Where are all you haters? A lot fewer comments when we win.

    • satcheluk
      8:42 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Thank you for highlighting the ignorance of a loud minority of our fan base. BBN you are crazy is not always a compliment.

    • BigolBlue
      8:55 am February 3, 2019 Permalink


    • bigbluebanana
      9:48 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah, huge minority. HUGE! No more than 5% of UK fans across the board want Cal gone, and it’s probably not even that much, I’m being lenient.

    • catsarerunnin
      11:14 am February 3, 2019 Permalink


    • 4everUKblue
      9:12 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      That means you BigolSlaterMedic.

    • StillBP
      9:14 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah BoB, you and all your various KSR names are in the minority of BBN.

  3. Matt10
    10:55 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    I am just amazed they pulled out a win after 30 minutes of mostly terrible basketball. They couldn’t hit anything. And tell me…I know for a fact you have never seen any player at any level take it to the rack four times for a dunk and get denied and still lead a team to victory. This team can play like horsesh!t and still win and that’s amazing.

    • BlakeBlueNation
      11:10 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      Truer words have never been spoken

    • mashburnfan1
      11:38 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

      alot of that winning when you play bad is the level of the team you are playing. UF is not good, we know what happened when we played bad vs a good team……34 point loss. That said several teams have loss games when they played bad, even we did that vs Hall and Bama, and we avoided that this time and on the road. Hopefully they can avoid the bad loss, get a good seed and see what happens. A 1 or 2 seed is huge for this group, should guarantee a sweet 16 spot. Only about 20-25 good teams in all of college ball, so if we get the walk to sweet 16 only have to win vs 3 or 4 good teams to get there. Of course it set up well for us last year and we could not beat a bad Kansas St team so who knows.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:46 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Poor mashburnfan trying so hard to be right. Just relax and enjoy the wins. Life is too short to be so bitter about college basketball.

    • 4everUKblue
      7:27 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      And just like that mashburnfan comes out like a cockroach in the night. Makes excuses for dUKe and every team we beat and still calls himself a fan just because he can afford season tickets. What a f-ing joke!

    • bigbluebanana
      9:48 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      4ever, at least he shows up here to make sure we all know he’s a season ticket holder.

    • henderblue
      7:31 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Good point Willis. But it’s true. We’ve been making good adjustments at halftime with that worthless coach we have,for the last several games (cue the idiot BigolBluedumbass, who now only has one line of defense- 1 championship in 10 years). Cal’s been doing a great job down the stretch here. And I love the fight this team shows on the road. It’s championship material, to go on the road and get a win in front of people who fill the stands in hopes of watching you get beat. And ripping out their collective hearts. It’s a lot of fun, if you’re a Cat fan.

    • henderblue
      7:53 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Shouldn’t Mashburnfan’s handle be Laetnerfan? Or Zionfan? Or CoachKfan? He’s no UK fan…

    • 4everUKblue
      7:57 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Good point hender, his life must be miserable in general, he just can’t be happy unless he’s slamming our team and our coach or making excuses for our opponent.

    • satcheluk
      8:44 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed. I had a fair bit wagered in the Cats and was so frustrated at their lack of effort, that I almost turned it off when we were down 11. I can’t think of a more improbable come back other than the 31 pointer at LSU.

    • kenny
      10:14 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      I get so emotionally invested without having money on the game, idk if I could take betting on my CATS.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:07 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Hey banana, I am SO impressed he’s a season ticket holder, probably buys the tickets out of spite. He should be tarred, feathered and run out of the commonwealth for disparaging Mashburn’s name.

  4. Aar
    11:47 pm February 2, 2019 Permalink

    Well BBN, our Cats just had one of the much talked about bad game and won! Great play by 3/4 of the bench, including a potential breakthrough defensive game from Montgomery. He, Baker and Quickley covered for bad games out of a few starters. Great “wake the #@(! up” call by Washington. IMHO, despite the slow shooting start of his season, Herro has been the most consistent player on this team all season and had progressed in pretty much every game. I mean that, even when his shot is off, he finds a way to help his team win, just like Reid Travis. Starting to love this year’s team. I think this player-led team closes out the season at 27-4 with a 1 seed locked up before the SEC tournament. Go Cats, beat Gamecocks!

  5. SGCanter
    12:23 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Finally when our offense fails to show up we win a game playing defense. This is a turning point for the cats.

    • Luether
      2:01 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Let’s not get too carried away. Florida is just not a very good basketball team…

    • kenny
      10:16 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      You seem agitated

    • 4everUKblue
      7:30 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      And Luether is no better than mashburnfan or BigolSlaterMedic or UKPROF or LeDocteur.

    • J. Did
      7:51 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

      Luether, you do realize that “KENTUCKY is everybody’s Superbowl”, right? It’s true.

      Don’t kid yourself… or us with your mindless horse hockey

      The Gators – at home – were out to kill.

  6. J. Did
    8:02 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Watched the game with a Florida alum. I was shocked that they commented on the poor officiating favoring Florida. I guess I am used to it. The CATS fought through it. It’s what they do.

    So long as KENTUCKY plays hard nosed defense, with we a couple of guys that can drive the lane for 2 – and are deadly from the free throw line – I don’t worry.

  7. Racerr11
    8:17 am February 3, 2019 Permalink

    Mashburn is a pitiful human being and waisting good air. Coaching staff did a great job again, always making changes that are changing the game. Cal as good as they get, always has been always will be. Give credit to a good Florida team and a well coached team for playing with the effort they did. SEC is a very tough conference in all sports now not just football. BBN is the best