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Wednesday June 11, 2014 NBA executives: Donovan best in country at preparing players for pros

Billy D GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There’s a reason Billy Donovan’s name comes up when NBA jobs come open.

It has a lot to do with all those victories and championships the last 18 years, of course, but it has just as much to do with all those former Gators playing in the NBA.

Donovan reportedly rebuffed at least two NBA suitors -- the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers -- since UF’s run to the Final Four this spring. Those franchises obviously honed in the fact that heading into the postseason the nine former Gators on NBA rosters tied North Carolina for the most of any college program.

On Wednesday, an ESPN.com Insiders post by basketball writer Jeff Goodman reflected a survey of NBA executives asking which college coach best prepared his players for the next level.

Donovan, currently in Colorado prepping USA Basketball’s U18 national team for the FIBA Americas Championships, checked in at No. 1.

Obviously, there’s something to be said for an NBA resume that shows the likes of Mike Miller, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Chandler Parsons and Bradley Beal, along with the fact UF”s pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop offense, plus defensive concepts, are NBA-rooted and make for an easier transition.

“He runs a lot of pro stuff and integrates a lot of wrinkles,” said one NBA executive, wrote Goodman. “He has an innovative playbook. ... He just gets it.”

The entire list:

1) Billy Donovan (Florida)
2) Ben Howland (formerly of UCLA, but currently without a job)
3) John Beilein (Michigan)
4) Tom Izzo (Michigan State)
5) Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State)
6) Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
7) Bill Self (Kansas)
8) Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech)
9) Rick Pitino (Louisville)
10) John Calipari (Kentucky)
11) Sean Miller (Arizona)
12) Tony Bennett (Virginia)

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