A road trip to Navy for Florida's first game under Mike White produced a lackluster victory for the Gators last Friday, as they struggled to score and keep hold of the basketball against the overmatched Midshipmen.
That wasn't that case against North Carolina A&T on Monday. Not at all.
Florida chomped the Aggies to bits early and often in White's first game in the O'Connell Center, pulling away for a 104-54 win that was only arguably as close as the 50-point margin of victory.
Six Gators scored in double figures on the night, led by DeVon Walker's 15 points, which matched a career high. And the Gators both bombed away, making 15 of 29 threes, and pounded the Aggies inside, with Dorian Finney-Smith going for 14 points and 10 rebounds and John Egbunu and Schuyler Rimmer combining for 22 points.
White's pesky press only produced 16 turnovers, but the Gators swarmed in the half court, and limited the Aggies to 17-for-52 shooting on the evening, and a woeful 4-for-16 performance from three. And on the other end, Florida pulled down an incredible 20 offensive rebounds and dished out 20 assists against 13 turnovers, with Kasey Hill (eight assists to two turnovers, and seven points that included his first three of the year) producing the flashiest one on an airborne no-look pass to Egbunu for a thunderous slam.
This may have been the worst team Florida will play all year, and twin 52-27 halves of basketball would sure seem to be indicative of an enormous disparity in talent.
But the Gators also made the Aggies look awful. And that's a promising sign.