Florida Gators Basketball

Florida Gators Win Both Exhibition Games, Coach Billy Donovan Still Not Pleased

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 11:  (L-R) Kenny Boynton #1 and Vernon Macklin #32 of the Florida Gators react to a play against the Auburn Tigers during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 11, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Jim FolsomContributorNovember 9, 2010

The Florida Gators, picked by many to win the SEC this year, wrapped up their two-game exhibition season 2-0. However, though the scores were lopsided, the coach was not happy with the effort. At least not the way they ended it.

Coach Billy Donovan (aren't you getting a bit old to be called Billy? How about Bill?) was so ticked at the 7-2 start by Georgetown (not the Hoyas) to start the second half, that he pulled the entire starting five. He told them that this was not the way a top-10 team plays.

So I guess that means that Coach Donovan believes that his team should be playing like a top-10 team? This is a good thing for the Gator fans. No more will we have to hear about "the process." It's here now. It's time to get excited again.

It seems like a long time ago when the Gators won back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. Three years of watching the team struggle with youth, inexperience and player defections have been painful to watch at times.

In the two exhibition games, Chandler Parsons, Kenny Boynton and Alex Tyus have looked pretty good. Boynton is knocking down threes at over 50 percent, Parsons has been flirting with triple-doubles and Tyus has been working on his mid-range jumper and it shows. Casey Prather looks like a star in the making, while Erik Murphy and Patric Young should contribute as well.

Erving Walker and Vernon Macklin haven't looked too spectacular, but I'm not worried about them. They will be fine once the games count.

Finally, the pieces are all there to make a run and Billy D expects nothing less. He will not hesitate to "send a message" if he needs to.

I remember in '07 when they were playing Florida State and he sat the starters for the second half because he was not happy with the effort. FSU won the game, but Billy got his point across. The team went on to win everything that year. They won the regular season SEC Title. They won the SEC Tournament. They won the NCAA Tournament.

This year the fans would gladly take one of the three. I'm not sure about Billy D though. It looks like he may want more.

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