In a belated home opener on Wednesday evening, the Florida Gators dispatched the visiting Little Rock Trojans with ease, beating them 94-71 behind five double-digit scoring performances.
The Gators (9-3) were forced to play the majority of their non-conference schedule away from their usual home arena, the O’Connell Center, which was in the process of being renovated and was reopened to the team only within the last few days. Florida head coach Mike White, in his second year at the Gators’ helm after a successful run at Louisiana Tech, led his team to a resounding double-digit win to open up the fresh building. Continue reading RECAP: Florida Gators Sink Little Rock, 94-71→
Little Rock, which was in the midst of an impressive six-game winning streak with only two losses so far in head coach Wes Flanigan‘s debut year, was sent away from Tulsa on Monday afternoon with a tough third defeat, as the Trojans were whipped by the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 63-48.
The Eagles’ Aaron Anderson made a pair of 3-pointers in the first half and had eight total points, as ORU began pulling away late in the period and went into the halftime break with a 27-21 advantage.
Players aren’t the only ones who make their debuts in college basketball each November.
Each season, there are several first time head coaches who realize their dreams of becoming a head coach at the Division I level. Many have paid their dues, whether it be as an assistant coach in the NCAA, or as a head coach at a smaller institution. The journeys are undoubtedly long, but well worth it in the end, when they see the title of ‘Head Men’s Basketball Coach’ after their name.
The start of the 2016-17 season was no exception.
In total, there are 29 coaches across the country who are first-time head coaches in Division I this season. Some have been assistants at larger programs in the country, while others have been head coaches in the junior college ranks.
Regardless of where they came from, they are now head coaches at the top level of collegiate basketball.
The transition hasn’t been easy for every coach, as only nine of the 29 first-time coaches have a winning record through the first five weeks of the year.
Little Rock Trojans head coach Wes Flanigan led his team to another tune-up victory Monday evening at the Jack Stephens Center, a 100-61 throttling of the University of the Ozarks, a Division III program.