FanDuel - WFBC

April 05, 2007

Billy Donovan staying at the University of Florida; Brewer, Noah, Horford, and Green are not. : Despite all the speculation, Billy Donovan, architect of the Gators' back-to-back National Championship teams, rejects Kentucky without even speaking to the university officially. He'll have to mold next year's team without juniors Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Taurean Green, who are all giving up their final year of college eligibility to head to the NBA.

posted by The_Black_Hand to basketball at 03:14 PM - 25 comments

John Wooden would have found a way to make them come back.

posted by yerfatma at 03:35 PM on April 05

Cheers. I'm more impressed by Donovan's desire to build a winning tradition at Florida then any aspirations he might have carried regarding reviving Kentucky's program. Call it my Anti-Larry Brown gene.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 03:37 PM on April 05

Good for Donovan and good for Florida. I really am curious to see if he can build a true marquee program (when viewed historically -- like Kentucky, Duke, UCLA and UNC), as opposed to an early 90's UNLV-type flash in the pan. Still a long way to go for Florida to reach 99 overall NCAA titles, though. [Obligatory sarcasm alert that kills the joke] Of the four, I don't think Green will make a good pro. He doesn't take care of the ball and his assist to turnover ratio is horrid.

posted by holden at 03:48 PM on April 05

He'll have to mold next year's team without juniors Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Taurean Green, who are all giving up their final year of college eligibility to head to the NBA. I hope no one's surprised at that decision. Those guys all jeopardized their futures by staying for the extra year instead of cashing in for the NBA or Europe. I admired them for it, the same way I admire Donovan for staying in Florida. John Wooden would have found a way to make them come back. Think the "hookers and blow" method was given the old college try? No, wait -- that's what they'll get in the pros.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:12 PM on April 05

Don't have a link, but Huggins is out at K-State, and in at West Virgina. Think his number one recruiting class is going with him?

posted by hawkguy at 05:44 PM on April 05

Here's the link: Huggins bails like a muthafucka. He's a prick, and K-State's better off without him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:19 PM on April 05

I'm about as surprised at the Huggins story as I am at the Florida juniors leaving. Bob Huggins is an oil slick; he'll go where the prevailing curent takes him. I've never liked him, and I never will. He strikes me as the sleazy used car salesman of NCAA basketball.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:43 AM on April 06

UConn had four first round picks last year and here's how the following season went. Soak it in TBH, soak it in. Connecticut (17-14, 6-10 Big East) - No Postseason Invitation

posted by YukonGold at 06:56 AM on April 06

I'm glad Donovan stayed, only because I saw so many Kentucky folks saying things like "Enjoy your title Florida, we will have your coach soon MUAAHAHAHAHA". That was pretty obnoxious. I would refer any such UK fans to the Wikipedia entry on hubris. I loathe Bob Huggins. It's disappointing that one of my favorite coaches in college hoop (Beilein) has been replaced in the Big East by one of my least favorite coaches, but I guess Huggins is a West Virginian so the hiring makes some sense. Morgantown apothecaries should start stocking up on hair goop immediately.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:34 AM on April 06

I'm glad Donovan stayed, only because I saw so many Kentucky folks saying things like "Enjoy your title Florida, we will have your coach soon MUAAHAHAHAHA" The teeth marks on my tongue are deep, indeed. It's very tempting to go NYAH NYAH NYAH KENTUCKY FANS, SUCK ON THAT, WHY DON'TCHA!!!!!LOLOLOLOL!!!!! Thanksfully, I'm above such childish behavior.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:51 AM on April 06

Huggins seems to be a perfect fit for a University that admits "student athletes" such as Pacman Jones and Chris Henry. His previous record shows he pretty comfortable with BB players of the same character.

posted by gfinsf at 09:02 AM on April 06

I for one am glad he stayed Kentucky is nuts down their I have a bro who lived in lexington and when your ten year old nephew brags about walking next to tubby something is wrong just kidding the only famous person I ever walked next to is jim belushi anyhow whole other story I don't know who'll Kentucky will get but it definetely won't be their first choice and I won't wish the Wildcats any luck

posted by luther70 at 09:53 AM on April 06

I for one am glad he stayed Kentucky is nuts down their I have a bro who lived in lexington and when your ten year old nephew brags about walking next to tubby Kidding or not, most hardcore basketball/football towns with a tradition are like that where the teams are treated like gods. I worked at a UGA cafeteria at where the football players ate. Most of them acted like classless jerks spoiled by their status, leaving their trays, cutting in line, blatantly stealing food, etc (not all, but enough to make us hate them). We complained to the higher-ups once, and all they did was recommend sending them to a nutritionists while other students got their meal contract revoked for lesser offenses. And while I'm talking about cafeterias, ya know who ate the most food? Female basketball players. Good Lord, did they devour our food. Whenever they walked in, there was a scramble to throw more food on the grill as they'd each eat 3-4 chicken patties on their own among other things.

posted by jmd82 at 11:14 AM on April 06

I'm glad Donovan stayed, only because I saw so many Kentucky folks saying things like "Enjoy your title Florida, we will have your coach soon MUAAHAHAHAHA". Yea that was me. If you were offended Venice, please except my apoligies. I think TBH makes some of the coolest comments and posts here. It was only meant as a little good natured smack talk towards him. TBH, if you need an apology too, you got it, but you seemed cool enough to me to get what I was doing. Here's exactly what I was trying to draw out of you: NYAH NYAH NYAH KENTUCKY FANS, SUCK ON THAT, WHY DON'TCHA!!!!!LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

posted by louisville_slugger at 12:07 PM on April 06

No apology necessary, Louisville. Cosmic justice was swift in this instance. I wasn't offended in the slightest, though; my threshold for taking offense is much, much higher than that (except perhaps when it comes to my own beloved teams!).

posted by Venicemenace at 12:38 PM on April 06

Yup, yerfatma, Wooden could have convinced them to stay. But realistically, the NBA salaries were nowhere near what they are today. Why don't we all get out of the past and concentrate on what is happening in this day and time with people who are actually dealing with current day to day happenings? What someone may have done forty plus years aga probably won't apply today.

posted by terribleteddy at 01:02 PM on April 06

Billie Gillispie is the new coach of UK. As a UK fan, I think this is a good hire. I appreciate the way Bily Donovan handled the situation and I have nothing but respect for him and what he has accomplished at FLA. Having said that, don't look for Billy to get a big welcome next year at Rupp. As I posted after Tubby left, I loved Tubby for what he stands for and how he carried himself while at UK. Could not have asked for more from a coach who on some level was never given a fair shake by a large number of the fans. But, there are also several firsts that occurred under his watch. Overall I think it was a good move for both sides. UK fans are arrogant and a small faction are just plain stupid, but the majority of the fans are very educated in terms of basketball and certainly passionate about the Wildcats. And there's a reaosn UK fans are so arrogant. History. So, we do assume we can get whomever simply because we're UK. Now I understand that times have changed a little bit and the scope of college basketabll is not what it used to be. But, I still believe UK is a top 5 program. (I'm just talking basketball, so please spare me the UCLA has 7200 championships in other sports, some of which were won after 1975) TBH, Louisville Slugger, I hear you guys and you have every right to take pleasure in the UK fans ridiculous arrogance and subsequent let down re Billy Donovan. Go ahead and kick us while we're "down" (if winning 20 games a year is down), I won't hate ya for it. I can even appreciate why you would enjoy it so. But, one day soon the sleeping giant will awaken to reclaim it's rightful placement as the #1 basketball program in America. Pretty soon the SEC will be back to normal and the Cats will be dancin in the Final Four in the next five years.

posted by ampto11 at 01:55 PM on April 06

I heard a lot of talk about Corey Brewer being a "tweener", but he seems to have the most athletic ability of the four. He could be a great defender at the next level. I don't see any of these guys being all-star caliber players, but there's always room on a roster for a 7 footer. Horford might have a tough time finding a spot and Green could probably be a back-up somewhere. I definately think Brewer has the most potential to be a "great" player on the next level.

posted by yay-yo at 02:26 PM on April 06

Ampto11, where did you get the information that Billy Gillispe is going to UK? He announced yesterday that he was staying at A&M

posted by hawkguy at 02:32 PM on April 06

Yup, yerfatma, Wooden could have convinced them to stay. Guess you had to be there to get it huh?

posted by YukonGold at 02:34 PM on April 06

Houston Chronicle says otherwise, hawkguy. And Richard Justice is pissed about it.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:36 PM on April 06

The most interesting take I heard was from Mike Wilbon yesterday on "PTI" after that meathead Kornheiser said he thought Donovan should have gone to Kentucky, partly because of the mystique, and how much more important a National Championship would be in Lexington. Wilbon looked at him like he'd just grown a second head and asked him, "How can you possibly devalue a National Championship based on what school you win it at? Is it less of a championship in Gainesville than it would be in Lexington? No!" Louisville, I've been an SEC guy my whole life, I know where you're comin' from. Nothing to worry about. Same for you, ampto. I don't hold any ill will towards the 'Cats, and if the Gators can't win it, I'm always happy for someone in the conference to bring the hardware back home.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:37 PM on April 06

And Richard Justice is pissed about it. That's pretty over-the-top. It's pretty harsh criticism for making a career move that normal people make all the time.

posted by bperk at 02:52 PM on April 06

Hawkguy, It's been all over the local news in KY all day and they actually held a PC at 12:45 est introducing him. Had I more time I would have made a front page post. (would have been my first) TBH, I missed that but I agree it's pretty damn stupid of Korn to suggest it means less depending on where you win. And like you, I follow SEC and tend to lean that way come tournament time or bowl season. I believe seven times the SEC has played for the title in the past 14-15 years. That's a pretty good indicator that we play some ball down south. I know Arkansas played in back to back games in 94-95 and UK went to 3 straight from 96-98. Florida the past two years. You can't blame a guy like Gillispie for making this jump. This is still one of the premiere basketball schools in the nation. After watching the PC today, I am even more excited about the hire. I did not realize the guy could recruit so well. I have to believe it will be easier to recruit to UK then A&M. And I had forgot he served under Self and was a part of bringing together that great final four team of a few years ago. Of course the local paper here in Louisville wasted no time pointing out his prior dui arrest(s). The Eddie Sutton references have been running wild. With Pitino making strides at Louisville with his young team and Indiana banking on a great class next year, if UK could just get it together we could see a resurgence of the 80's where at least one of the three made a final four in something like 7-10 years. An interesting note on what I call the "Pryamid of College Basketball" (the schools if traced from one to the other on a map create somewhat of a triangle), starting in 1951 when the tournament expanded to 16 teams, there had never been back-to-back years where at least one of the three made the Sweet 16, that is until 2006-2007.

posted by ampto11 at 03:42 PM on April 06

I really wanted Pitino or Donovan, but I didn't really think either would come. Of all the other candidates they had mentioned, I was really hoping for Gilispie, so I'm satisfied. I was impressed with his press conference this afternoon. A reporter mentioned that he wasn't UK's first choice, and he looked at th A.D. and said, I wasn't? Glad to see he has a since of humor. He's going to need it here.

posted by louisville_slugger at 04:26 PM on April 06

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