April 17, 2009
I am beginning to be quite concerned about my Men's Basketball Program. There seems to be quite a stir within the program. When one transfers as Jai Lucas did last year you just say to yourself as an avid fan that, "those things happen."
My resolve is/was with the Lucas transfer is that there can only be one point guard and my bets were with Calathes at that point. I have since back down on my allegiance to Calathes but, my support for Donovan has never wain until today.
Announced today is Alex Tyus leaving the Gators. That coupled with Calathes declaring for the draft without signing with an agent, Deshawn Painter asking out of his letter of intent and there seems to be something not right. Or as my grandmother use to say, "something in that milk ain't clean."
Should this just be accepted within a program? If this were college football three leaving the program would not be a big deal. But, we are talking college basketball where you only have thirteen scholarships at one time and when three within a span of a month decide to leave your program and I have an issue. Even with Donovan.
Is it his (Donovan) coaching style? Was he two hard on Calathes? I have always thought that Billy Donovan was the master of getting the most out his players ala Walter Hodge. I don't know of any other program where he (Hodge) would have contributed so much. And, truly I have my doubts about how much he contribute once the 04's left. Again, Coach Donovan's ability just has never come into question until now.
News that Calathes was unhappy with being pulled from a game with less than three minutes to go surfaced. News that he (Calathes) thought Coach Donovan lost faith in him also surfaced.
But, do you really pay those things any attention? When you are dealing with players successful in high school and on winning programs bringing their egos to college you can expect some hurt feelings. But, again, what is going on in this instance?
I forgot to mention we also have Chaney transferring out of the program too. Now, the news of this was not shocking. He had some run ins with the coaching staff and seem to take ownership of the fact that he messed up and that he needed to grow up.
I feel though having what now seems like a mass exodus from the program makes you want to look deeper into this. The word is that Tyus's parents have been pushing for him to leave, sighting that he would be flourishing in many other offenses.
I don't doubt that parents have a huge influence at this point in their lives. But, then that begs the question, are there more fans, parents of the programs, and alumni that are not please with Coach Donovan and the 09 season?
Do the players some how know more than we do? Was Donovan actually thinking about the job at Kentucky? Was he talked out of it by Rick Petino and Tubby Smith? Was Anthony Grant waiting on word from Donovan before he accept the position at Alabama? Can the players sense the Coach Donovan is bored at this position?
I hope the answer is no to all of these questions but, these are just some of the stories that have been floating around the basketball program. And, I think it is because of this that we have such an unstable program just two years removed from our National Championship run.
I am concerned about my Gator Basketball program. I will be looking for positive news to be coming from the O'Connell facility. Some news that all want to right this ship. That we have recruited Eric Bledsoe or John Wall or Xavier Henry. Yes a fan can dream can't she?
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