Billy Donovan Chomps His Team Some More
If you remember, last week, Florida coach Billy Donovan ripped his team for their poor play down the stretch of the regular season. Apparently, the message didn’t get through. Now we get word that the Gators have been banned from their state-of-the-art practice facility.
I guess that’s the price you pay when you don’t defend a championship won by the best starting five in recent memory — a starting five that is no longer anywhere near Gainesville.
Coach Billy Donovan, feeling like his players had settled into a state of complacency and entitlement, banned them from Florida’s $12 million facility. He also told them they couldn’t wear any Florida attire.
“Probably in some respects the confetti is still falling down around them,” Donovan said Monday. “When you have great success like we’ve had, I think it’s very, very easy to become complacent and to lose sight of how good things are around here and to have an attitude of, ‘I’m at Florida. This is just what’s going to happen.’”
Is Donovan holding his team to too high of a standard? One that can only be matched when four of your starting five are NBA draft picks? Yes, Florida underachieved this year, but I’m not sure what a second-round departure from the NCAA Tournament would do for the growth of Donovan’s young team. If they play with the intensity he’s asking for, making a deep NIT run isn’t that far-fetched.
It also gives him a few more games to prepare his team for next season. Being a one-or-two and done in the NCAAs won’t necessarily provide that same opportunity… Or is this just a case of Donovan being mad his new team couldn’t reproduce what his previous team did? Maybe he got fooled into thinking back-to-back national championships are the norm.