Florida Basketball: Is Billy Donovan Underwhelming Since His National Title?

Trevor LowryContributor IOctober 26, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 24:  Head coach Billy Donovan of the Florida Gators reacts late in the second half while taking on the Louisville Cardinals during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Final at US Airways Center on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Billy Donovan helped coach the Florida Gators to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. Since then, some have questioned if Donovan has been underwhelming. However, this shouldn't even be a question: Donovan has made Florida an elite team in college basketball.

In case anyone has forgotten, the Gators have made the Elite Eight for the past two seasons. Sure, Florida did miss the tournament all together two times since it last won a title, but it is one of the best teams in the nation now. 

Florida has consistently been ranked in the Top 10 and is once again ranked in the Top 10 entering the 2012-13 college basketball season, according to the USA Today coaches' poll.

Two seasons ago, the Gators were a No. 2 seed in the Big Dance. Although they were a No. 7 seed entering last year's NCAA tournament, Florida was ranked in the Top 10 for most of the season. However, the Gators still managed to make it all the way to the Elite Eight.

The Gators blew commanding leads in the past two NCAA tournaments; a shame since they could have made it to the Final Four in both seasons. Whatever the case, that does not sound underwhelming no matter who you are.

Donovan has had his fare share of good recruits since his last championship.

Chandler Parsons played four solid years for the Gators and is currently playing in the NBA for the Houston Rockets.

Although Donovan didn't recruit him, he was able to get Georgetown transfer Vernon Macklin on the team. Macklin played two seasons for Florida before playing in the NBA.

Erving Walker was also a great recruit for Donovan, although he is not in the NBA right now.

You can't forget one of the best recruits Florida has had in a very long time in Bradley Beal. Beal played one season for the Gators last year and still managed to be the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Currently, Donovan is coaching Kenny Boynton and Patric Young, who will both very likely be playing in the NBA in the near future.  

As you can see, Florida has had some very good recruits thanks to Billy Donovan. 

Florida may not have won the national championship for a couple of years now, but it competes for one just about every year.

Donovan has put together some very good basketball teams, and he will once again have a good team in the upcoming season. In no way has he been underwhelming since his last national title. 


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