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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Donovan’

Chandler Parsons For The Win!!!!!!!

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When you hit a 70-something foot shot to give your team the overtime win over North Carolina State, you deserve whatever accolades you get. Just ask Chandler Parsons of the Florida Gators. In fact, some are saying Parsons is up for Stud of the Week in the Florida area, although, it doesn’t look like he’ll catch one Tim Tebow.

You might have heard of that guy, too.

If Sidney Lowe and his Wolfpack players had a vote, I think I know where it would go.

Not So Fast On Billy Donovan?

Billy Donovan

With the University of Kentucky now in need of a head basketball coach, the focus quickly turned to Billy Donovan, with a couple of juicy rumors to boot. Apparently, Florida is on a “not so fast, there” watch as they just released this statement concerning Donovan’s future:

“In response to the rumors circulating about my interest in other jobs, I wanted to address this as quickly as possible,” Donovan said in a statement. “I am committed to the University of Florida and look forward to continuing to build our program here.”

So, who’s next for Kentucky? ESPN scribe Pat Forde is on record as saying he would bet his paycheck Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford will be next up to bat for the Big Blue, while others say John Calipari is of interest as well.

Concerning Calipari, it’s hard to see him leaving such a recruiting class — and an easy conference — for the never-ending saga that is Kentucky basketball. As for Ford, it doesn’t look like the entire fanbase would welcome him with open arms. A shame, really, considering how Ford managed to get Oklahoma State into the NCAA Tournament while his potential predecessor was pining away in the NIT.

Gillispie Out at Kentucky

Billy Gillispie

All those rumblings about Billy Gillispie’s tenure at the University of Kentucky came true today as Gillispie was let go — apparently, it wasn’t mutual — after two rocky years in the Commonwealth. While some will want to focus on the apparent inability to satisfy the Kentucky fanbase, the decision, provided you read between the lines, came down to more than just wins and losses. A quote from Orestes Meeks, father of Jodie Meeks, reveals not everything was peaches and cream in the Wildcats locker room:

“You don’t want to throw gasoline on the flames, but, clearly, a lot of things happened behind the scenes that made it difficult for the kids to play basketball and focus on winning,” the elder Meeks said.

That’s not the most ringing endorsement I’ve ever heard. As of now, speculation centers on Billy Donovan taking Gillispie’s place, although, nothing has been confirmed.

If you want to have some real fun, there are over 20000 posters at the Catspause forums discussing this very subject. The conversation runs the gamut from “Blame Tubby” to “Thank God he’s gone.” Good times for all involved.

Concerning the Gillispie decision, the university has scheduled a press conference in about 30 minutes.

Billy Donovan Is Really Happy To Be On TV

Obviously, being on TV is quite agreeable to Florida coach Billy Donovan. It’s either that or someone spiked him with adrenalin, Chev Chelios-style:

Wide-Eyed Billy

Wide-Eyed Billy

Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. I’m not sure if Donovan actually blinked while he was on camera because if he did, there would have been an audible clicking noise.

Something like Bubo from Clash of the Titans.

Billy Donovan Chomps His Team Some More

Billy Donovan

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.

Billy Donovan Absolutely Rips His Young Team

Magic DonovanWhen you’ve grown accustomed to wining back-to-back NCAA titles, sub-par seasons, followed by being bounced in the first round of the SEC Tournament, apparently don’t sit well with head coaches. Just ask Billy Donovan and his Florida Gators.

After Alabama had their way with the Gators last night — securing the twice defending national champs an NIT bid — the man that left for the Orlando Magic had some choice words concerning the outlook of his team:

“You know, it’s hard for me to be excited going forward because I don’t see things being fixed,” the Florida coach said after an 80-69 loss to Alabama.

“We’re 31 games into the season, and I’m not going to sit up here and talk about youthfulness or what we don’t have or what we lost or those type of things… You want to see a group of guys really understanding what it takes to win…

“They’re not committed to it…”

I don’t think Donovan has had to use words in conjunction like this for a couple of seasons now (Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?). Apparently, he’s holding his team to the standard set by the Perfect Storm his Gators enjoyed so much. Sorry, but back-to-backs are not the norm in college basketball, Coach Donovan. You are beginning to sound like a UK fan.

Taking Shots at Gillispie, UK

Billy GillispieKicking someone when they are down is usually looked upon with poor taste except when it comes to sports and sports fans. With UK Basketball getting off to an inauspicious 4-4 start, a beginning that includes a current three-game losing streak, a lot of folks are getting in line to take pot shots at new coach Billy Gillispie and the program as a whole.

As Truzenzuzex pointed out at A Sea of Blue, even Florida basketball fans are getting in on the act. Discussing UK freshman Patrick Patterson–who picked UK over Florida and Duke–”GatorPilot” offers these sour grapes:

The problem is that Patterson plays for a team which isn’t even close to his level. Kentucky is a train wreck under Billy Gillispie in his first year as head coach. Since I cover SEC hoops for FanHouse I’m required to give Kentucky objective consideration, and generally I feel I’ve done a pretty good job of that.

My assessment? Not revolutionary: the ‘Cats suck. They’re off to a 4-4 start. It’s important that Kentucky is given credit for scheduling teams like North Carolina and Indiana; had Florida played those two teams, I see at least a 1-1 split (loss to UNC and win against IU) but either way, the ‘Cats faced the music while the toughest team UF has played in the pre-season is FSU. Problem is, in addition to losing to two clearly superior teams, they were blown out by Gardner-Webb at Rupp and just lost to Mike Davis’ UAB Blazers at Freedom Hall in Louisville.

Yes, this season’s UK basketball team has suffered through some embarrassing losses, while suffering key injuries to players who were expected to be in the starting five. I’d like to see any team function successfully without two of their better players, especially a college basketball team.

Billy DonovanWith a full squad, UK has just enough complimentary and primary talent to be a Top 30-40 team, much like the current make-up of Gators, who sit at 10-1 after feasting on a schedule full of cupcakes, something Deadspin forgot to point out. The one decent team Billy Donovan’s team has played–Florida State–resulted in them getting beat.

In the process of trying to paint Kentucky in such a poor light, Pilot decides to do so while extolling the virtues of the Florida head-coach, saying all kinds of grand things about the coach with the Eddie Munster hairline; except, of course, Donovan’s handling of the Orlando Magic situation.

Moving on.

Truzenzuzex’s defense continues when he calls out Billy Reed for his Perez Hilton-like post about the rumors of Gillispie’s Lexington nightlife and Tru should be applauded for doing so. Whether Reed has confirmed these rumors or not isn’t the point.

Posting stuff like, “I’ve heard a bunch of them, and my sources are people whom I trust and believe…” isn’t doing anyone any good. Either show and prove or just keep quiet. Even the sports bloggers of the world seem to understand this.

Proof is in the pudding. No one cares about what you believe.

As for defending Coach Gillispie, there’s not much that can be said right now. UK just needs to get everyone healthy and win some games. If either of these two things happen, the voices will quiet themselves. Gillispie has done a lot of work on the recruiting front and only with a full roster can you expect this to pay dividends. As he continues to sign players in the mold of Patterson, Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins, UK will not stay down for long.

Maybe that’s what concerns them.

Update (10:25pm CST):

Yes, UK got whipped tonight by Houston by the score of 83-69 … but like Lavin just said, UK’s season so far is just like Murphy’s Law. We get Meeks back and he plays pretty well, but guess what, PATRICK PATTERSON IS OUT BECAUSE OF A BUM ANKLE. Needless to say, UK was out-rebounded by a pretty wide margin and Houston proceeded to score over 20 second chance points – IN THE FIRST HALF.

I just listened to Scott Van Pelt remind UK fans they got what they asked for when they said they didn’t want Tubby Smith as a coach any more and boy, I really don’t know if I have an answer yet. Four straight losses for the first time since 1989-90 doesn’t look good on any resume, especially one that works at UK.

As it stands, I’m willing to give the coach they call BCG (Billy Clyde Gillispie), an opportunity to field a team with a full roster before I throw him under the bus – something he hasn’t yet had the luxury of experiencing.

Not much choice, really.