By LARRY VAUGHT
Before the Southeastern Conference Tournament was cancelled, Florida coach Mike White talked with myself and Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader (no other media members were there for his pre-tourney media session in Nashville). It gave me an opportunity to ask him a couple of questions that even now I thought you might enjoy how he answered.
Question: Are college players today not devastated by losses or hung up on big wins like they might have been years ago?
Mike White: “I think losses for sure. I would like them to get over wins quicker. I think that is part of what is going on in college basketball right now. It’s hard to maintain focus and growth and momentum without young men becoming too comfortable and not handling success.”
Think about if White has that trouble keeping Florida players focused when they have success what it must be like for John Calipari to keep his team focused.
He also talked about how Kentucky had to be the clear favorite in the soon to be cancelled SEC Tournament despite the number of close class the Cats had while compiling a 15-3 league mark.
Question: Why he was so sure Kentucky had to be the favorite?
Mike White: “Just (because they were) outright champions. What was their record? 15-3. Finding ways to win games down the stretch whether you call it toughness or swagger, just a winning mentality. They have just found ways ,and probably different ways a couple of times, to win games. At tournament time, that counts for a lot.”
Yes it does — or at least if does it there had been tournaments in March this year.