Florida led Kentucky by 10 points at halftime Saturday. They were up 59-41 with 12 minutes to go at home in front of one of the toughest crowds for visiting teams to deal with in the entire SEC. Despite all those factors working in their favor, however, Mike White's Gators completely and unequivocally choked against the Ashton Hagans-less Wildcats, blowing their 18-point lead and losing at home by one point to drop them to 19-12 this season.
Mind you, the Gators were consideed a consensus top-10 team heading into the season.
This is not going to look good on Coach White's resume.
The roster is not the issue. With Keyontae Johnson and Andrew Nembhard shouldering most of the scoring load while Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. handled the dirty work inside, everything was set up for the Gators to challenge the likes of Auburn and Kentucky in a wide-open SEC. That plan has failed the very first hurdle due to White's inability to hold on to leads -- a flaw that could cost him his job if he can't demonstrate significant improvement.
All told, say what you want about how maddening North Carolina has been this year -- Florida is truly the most disappointing team in men's college basketball.
Florida should be at or near the top of the SEC every single season based on its ability to recruit top players that stay in school as opposed to going one-and-done, but White just hasn't been able to put the pieces together this season despite so much promise.
We could be in for a very transformative summer in Gainesville unless he turns this ship around really quickly. It doesn't matter who it is that you're playing -- if you have an 18-point lead, you need to lock it down and secure the W. Anything less is disaster, and that's what Gator Nation is sadly dealing with today.