Friday, March 14, 2008

Time for "Billy the Kid" to grow up

For the Florida Gators, there will be no chance for a three-peat after losing to Alabama 80-69 in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Thursday. They've now lost four straight and eight of their last 11.

The game itself was not nearly as compelling as the post-game comments from Florida coach Billy Donovan, who absolutely laid into his young team. A couple that stood out:
You know, it's hard for me to be excited going forward because I don't see things getting fixed, you know?
I'm not necessarily really that excited about these guys being sophomores to be honest...I don't think people change a whole lot, and I don't think you've seen the basketball team change at all this year. So it's hard for me to get overly thrilled or excited.
While I understand Donovan's frustration, to publicly humiliate a group of young men the way he did is just uncalled for. If you want to rip your players, do it in private, not at a post-game press conference.

I used to be a big fan of Donovan, but it seems as though he's been spoiled. He's forgotten how he lucky he was to have had a once-in-a-lifetime group of players. Even worse, he's forgotten how to coach.

Donovan expected this team to play with the same fire and passion as Joakim Noah and the rest of them Gator Boys, which just wasn't fair. He needed to bring that out of them. Instead, he gave up on them. The fact that Florida did not improve over the course of the season says more about Donovan as a coach than it does about his players.

And I still can't believe those comments. "Billy the Kid," it's time you grow up.

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