Head coach Mike White spoke to the media alongside Colin Castleton and Tyree Appleby following the No. 24 Gators’ victory over Milwaukee Thursday night.
Here are the main takeaways.
- "I am very proud of the approach; I thought our effort defensively was solid and I thought we played well." When asked about how the team played for 40 minutes he said, ‘"I don't feel like we maintained it for the last 7, but we have to find it for 40 minutes. You are always shooting for your ceiling."
- On Castleton’s performance: "He established himself early on the interior played with some physicality some poise and made some good decisions.” "He's developed as a passer, as a playmaker over time." He's playing with confidence and to add to that he's made a huge jump on defense. He is protecting the rim at a really high level.”
- When asked about Milwaukee and Baldwin: “Milwaukee is a good defensive team they have great size, a lot of good guards. “He's a heck of a talent and he's a great player I think Pat will have a great year,” White said. "I thought we were collectively really good on limiting his touches." On Milwaukee's Patrick Baldwin (13 points) "He's a heck of a talent, I think Milwaukee's a really good team we just defended the heck out of them."
- It’s something Colin Castleton will have to become accustomed to as he found himself at the podium after another stellar performance. Despite his 19 points and 10 rebounds double-double, it was the defensive side of his game that drew focus from the press, especially that against Milwaukee’s Patrick Baldwin Jr. "Just making it tough on him we don't single anyone out, but we just made it tough on him he is going to have a great year for them," said Castleton when asked about Milwaukee's Patrick Baldwin.
- Castleton mentioned that the high volume of NBA scouts at the game did not bother or weigh down the team, rather the team’s defensive identity outweighed any loss of focus. "I didn't pay any mind to that," said Castleton when asked if he knew there were NBA scouts at the game. “The standard we have set is really high we don't care about what team we play."
- Castleton’s 10 rebounds included four offensive rebounds in a game where the paint belonged to him. When asked about how his performance affected the game, especially after halftime, Castleton pointed to the team’s cohesion as the source. "100 percent like I said we came out firing on all cylinders and just playing hard,” Castleton said. "We just have to come in and play hard for the next game,” he added.
- Alongside Castleton, Tyree Appleby provided a characteristic physical spark to the team, especially the team’s offensive tempo and its full-court press. When asked about Castleton and what it’s like to play with him, Appleby responded: "Working he is in the gym every day and if anyone is slacking off, he lets us know.”
- The Gators have become identified with a defensive prowess featured in their win over FSU. "I think we have found our identity; we know who we are," Appleby said. The Gators racked up eight steals and six blocks resulting in 18 points off turnovers.
- Appleby finished the game as the second leading scorer with 14 points, a nine-point improvement over his performance against FSU. Appleby credited his work during the summer, improving his shooting and an explosive second half. "I stayed here for both summers, working out and preparing for the season," Appleby said. "We knew what we had to do in the second half and bring what we needed," he added. Appleby emphasized the importance of learning as a player and said that the goal was to set a standard from day one.
Rafael de los Santos and Joseph Munroe contributed to this report
WCC: Updates on everything they had to say can be seen HERE.