Humble Freshman Nembhard Unfazed By Big Point Guard Shoes to Fill
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — One of the first questions put to Coach Mike White during Tuesday’s annual basketball media day focused on first-year point guards and whether White, set to enter his fourth season leading the Florida Gators and eighth as a collegiate coach, had ever entrusted a freshman to run one of his teams.
White tossed out the name Speedy Smith.
“He’s a big reason why I’m at Florida today,” he said.
Once a starting freshman point guard at Ole Miss himself, White was in his first year at Louisiana Tech (and his first as head coach anywhere) when he happened upon an under-recruited playmaker (from Boca Ciega, Fla., no less) and turned him loose in an uptempo offense. Smith rewarded White and LaTech with a staggering 858 assists over the next four seasons — twice leading the NCAA in that category — and helped White and his Bulldogs win 101 games in four years.
Yes, and get him to Florida.
So, no, White has nothing against freshman point guards. And like most coaches, he has a particularly fondness for really good ones. They’re rare, to be sure, but the Gators believe the have a keeper in Andrew Nembhard, a five-star prospect on the 2017