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Tuesday March 26, 2002Billy Donovan Chat Transcript from 03-26-02

Gainesville, FL

Coach Donovan Chat Log
The following is a transcript from Coach Donovan's live chat on March, 26 2002. Thank you to everyone who participated.
<Billy Donovan> Hi, how is everyone doing, we are ready for questions and thanks for joining us today!
[LovetheGators] What do you feel was the biggest win of this past season?
<Billy Donovan> I thought our team had a lot of great wins, Michigan State at home, Temple in New York but probably the biggest one was Georgia on the road
[GatorGirl] There is a rumor that Brett Nelson tipped off the police about Teddy Dupay. How true is this?
<Billy Donovan> There is no truth to that. Brett and Teddy had a very good relationship while they were here and I know Brett would never do anything to hurt Teddy
[Jim Criniti] Coach, I read your comments last week when you summarized your season. Since then, have you had a chance to talk to Brett Nelson? Has he hinted anything about joining the NBA draft rather than come back?
<Billy Donovan> I feel like right now Brett will be back as a Gator but as all college players their dreams and aspirations are to play at the next level and with as many kids leaving early today that will always been an option for talented players
[Guest] bill with the changes in coaching staff i would like to let u know im avalable. my 8th grade cyo team was 10-8 this yr. do u think i have a shot
<Billy Donovan> We've filled our staff positions, but we really appreciate any ideas you might have
[lipanb] Hi Billy, I am sure you are happy for coach Pelphrey what did you tell him before he headed to South Alabama? Do you plan on scheduling South Alabama?
<Billy Donovan> I told him that he needed to make a decision based on his heart and he felt that all of the ingredients were there for him to make South Alabama successful. Now is a very good time to play South Alabama.
[malibusue] who will be replacing mr. pelphrey you know rizz is looking for a new job
<Billy Donovan> Donnie Jones has moved into John's position....Rizz was a strong possiblity but because of some weight issues we were concerned about him going through a two-hour practice
[lipanb] Who do you invision being your outside shooters next year? Can any of the incoming recruits really light it up?
<Billy Donovan> I think we become a better shooting team with Brett Nelson, Matt Bonner and the addition of Roberson, Walsh and Al-Kaleem.
[mike] Coach, you made the comment that you were the team's leader. Why didn't there appear to be any leadership on this team?
<Billy Donovan> Because of some youthful players with very little experience David Lee, James White, Orien Greene, Bonell Colas, it made it very difficult for our captains to truly lead inexperienced players
[MyGatorWorld] Hey Coach, have you been following Harvey in the NBA this season. Since his trade his minutes have gone up! Have you talked to him recently?
<Billy Donovan> I spoke to Donnell during the SEC Tournament over the phone and I know he is excited about his new opportunity in Denver
[LovetheGators] With the toughness of the SEC this year why do you think an SEC team didn't make it further in the NCAA tourney?
<Billy Donovan> I believe our conference was a solid conference from top to bottom and had the most balance in the country but I don't know if there were teams in our league at the level of Duke, Oklahoma, Kansas and Maryland.
[mike] Can this basketball team be successful without a "true center" next year?
<Billy Donovan> People talk about the loss of Udonis and there is no question it is a big loss, but in my opinion we have five solid front court players that will be very versatile across the front line
[lipanb] Bonner is the man but he seemed to play his best in the middle of the year and tire late in the year? anything to this or was I just halucinating
<Billy Donovan> I would agree that at the end of the year Matt had some tough games but I attribute that more to teams doing a great job of defending Matt
[Alagator] Coach assess Lee & White's year and what do they need to work on to improve?
<Billy Donovan> James and David both had solid years and there is no question we need them to step up and provide more consistencey for our team next year. Both need to improve on their strength and scoring.
[lipanb] Hey coach I watched a very informative show about St. Johns and their entire year. Would you let camera's into your practices and lockeroom to document the Gator's season?
<Billy Donovan> I'm not against that taking place provided it is not a distraction to our team and coaching staff throughout the course of the season
[LovetheGators] Who will play the 5 spot next year? Or will you play 3 forwards?
<Billy Donovan> David Lee, Bonell Colas, Mario Boggan and Adrian Moss are all candidates
[MyGatorWorld] Do you expect Colas or Moss to gain weight during the offseason.? If so how much?
<Billy Donovan> Adrian right now is at 240 pounds and continues to work hard. This will be a big summer for Bonell physically. He needs to improve his strength drastically.
[MyGatorWorld] Who do you think was the MOST improved player from last season? And who do you think MAY be next season?
<Billy Donovan> Justin Hamilton and I believe that James and David have the potential to make great jumps from their freshmen to sophomore seasons.
[Guest] the team seems to perform better defensivly playing man. why do u mix in that 2-3 zone. is it match up issues or conditioning issues.
<Billy Donovan> For the most part when Udonis gets in foul trouble we try to protect him by playing zone and at the same time there is generally some form of match up problems.
[Jim Criniti] Coach, in your opinion, is the SEC the toughest conference in college basketball? We see how competitive it is year after year come March, but I'm looking for your opinion.
<Billy Donovan> Jim: I would say that over the last 10 years the SEC has been as good as any conference in the country. Certainly you look at all of the teams from the SEC that have partcipated in the Final Four during the last 10 years.
[malibu sue] <Enter Text Here>i heard you are coming back to ny in a few weeks Looking foward to seeing you
<Billy Donovan> Sue: It depends on if I'm invited back.
[mike] With so many players leaving early these days, how do you feel about players like UD, Prince, Juan Dixon and others who decide to return for their senior season?
<Billy Donovan> I believe most kids' dreams are to play in the NBA. the NBDL is attractive for kids who may struggle academically or don't have the ability to play right away in the NBA.
[LovetheGators] I thought David Lee turned the corner with his free throws the last few games. Did you have him do anything special?
<Billy Donovan> David showed some great progress late in the season and like most young players they gain confidence in seeing the ball go through the basket and David went to the free throw line with a lot more confidence late in the season.
[MyGatorWorld] Are we any close to getting more big-name non-conference school to come here and play like we did with Mich St? Teams like Duke, Kansas, Indiana....
<Billy Donovan> There is a strong chance of playing Maryland and the preseason NIT will be here next year in Gainesville.
[lipanb] How are feeling about your 3 on 3 tournament this year? Did Pelhrey play on your team?If so it will be kind of like replacing Haslem.
<Billy Donovan> Losing Anthony Grant to injury was like replacing Haslem. With John being gone I will get more shots now.
[malibu sue] you can always stay at my house if you need a place to crash
<Billy Donovan> Sue: I hope it is a lot cleaner than the last time I was over and I hope there is some form of food in the frige.
[Guest] last week newsday ran a week long special on hs basketball on li. as a coach do u think the talent pool is smaller from when we were in hs. and u r always invited to my house. just bring some gator stuff.
<Billy Donovan> The talent in Long Island. Jason Frazier may have been the best big man in the country. In years past there has been more depth coming out of Long Island
[Alagator] Coach have you heard from Teddy Dupay lately? What are the chances he could come back as a coach?
<Billy Donovan> I spoke to Teddy before he left to go to Venezuela. I will do whatever I can to help him with a coaching career.
[mike] Coach, can you talk about the pre-season NIT in Gainesville (match-ups, dates, etc.)
<Billy Donovan> It will be announced after the Final Four.
[lipanb] What's your favorite restaurant in G'ville?
<Billy Donovan> There are several places I like in town.
[Jim Criniti] This is the one question all college coaches get Coach, but I'm going to ask you anyway....would you ever consider coaching in the NBA, or is Florida the place for you to make your legacy as a head coach?
<Billy Donovan> Is this Jeremy?
[malibe sue] dont knock the food situation. you and anthony probably never ate better
<Billy Donovan> After spending the night in the hospital from food posioning
[MyGatorWorld] What do you plan on doing during the offseason? Vacationing?
<Billy Donovan> My secretary has done an outstanding job of making sure I'm speaking somewhere everyday.
[MyGatorWorld] As one of the people who campout for games I wanted to say THANX for bringing us pizza!
<Billy Donovan> As I've said many times the Rowdy Reptiles make the O'dome one of the toughest environments in college basketball.
[Jim Criniti] Afraid not coach...just a huge Gator fan from Cleveland.
<Billy Donovan> I'm very happy here at Florida and so is my family.
[mike] Steve Spurrier said he wanted to be the underdog again...once you reach that bar where you are favored every game, would that take away the fun for you?
<Billy Donovan> The challenge of maitaing a high standard is hopefully what drives our coaching staff and players to help Frorida be the best it can be
[rghg8r] Any plans to do your radio show at sites around the state, as well as the current on-campus sites?
<Billy Donovan> I don't do my radio shows outside of Gainesville but I have several Gator Club Gatherings throughout the state. You can check my website in the next coming weeks for details.
[GatorSportsChick] What are your hobbies 'besides' basketball? IF you have free time, what do you enjoy doing for leisure?
<Billy Donovan> Working out and spending time with my family.
[diane] how about a game in philly-you can check with steve i make a neat lasagna or chicken casserole so you wouldn't have to worry about food poisoning
<Billy Donovan> Mrs. McClain after this is over with I will be sure to send you Steve's e-mail address this is not your son's chat room.
[rowdyreptile] do you think that Nelson will come back?
<Billy Donovan> I belive after Brett evaluates his options he will decide to stay at Florida
[malibe sue] billy, i have to run. as always it has been a pleasure speaking with you. give my best to the kids and tell tracy i said hello . see you soon. love yads
<Billy Donovan> See ya. Take care and see you soon.
[Jim Criniti] Coach, how do you feel about high school players bypassing college to join the NBA? What did you think of Lebron James' decision to stay in high school?
<Billy Donovan> I believe all kids need the experience of college to grow both on and off the floor. However as long as the NBA continues to give high school kids the opportunity that trend will continue.
[rowdyreptile] how do you think UD is gonna fare in the draft?
<Billy Donovan> Udonis has some work ahead of him but after some individual workouts with some teams he will have a strong possibility of getting picked in the first round
[gatorvic] <Enter Text Here>Coach, Have you and Coach Zook been able to get to know each other?
<Billy Donovan> I met Coach Zook before he was hired in Gainesville several years ago. Since he has been hired I've had several chances to spend some time with him and I think he will be a great coach for the Gators
[GatorSportsChick] Coach D., You did a great job this year and we Gators appreciate all you do. If there is one game that you could pick at the high of the season and one as the 'low-light' which games would those be?
<Billy Donovan> I previously mentioned the Michigan State, Temple and Georgia games. The Creighton game was dissapointing because it ended our season and we didn't have a chance to go out and play again
[rghg8r] is there a way the NBA can inflate the rookie salary cap for those players that have more college experience (to encourage them to stay)?
<Billy Donovan> That is an issue for the NBA and I'm not sure what the cap currently is on NBA Rookies
[rghg8r] Does it bother coaches to have fans (like those at Kentucky and sometime G'ville) that do not accept losing, or is that a good thing to expect perfection?
<Billy Donovan> I very high expectations of our team and coaching staff and our goal is to be in the hunt for championships
[DaMeatHook] <Enter Text Here> I know you spoke to the team about playing with heart, do you think showing them video on the 94 team would help? Those guys played with alot of heart
<Billy Donovan> The 1994 team certainly had a lot of heart and so did this years team. Unfortunately, some of our opponents made some great plays down the stretch
[lipanb] Do you invision David Lee shooting more from the outside next year? Does he have an outside touch?
<Billy Donovan> I think David will play with a lot more confidence next year and I hope that is an area he will develop this summer
[MyGatorWorld] How hard do you think its giong to be to find a Womens bball coach? What did you think of Ross's resignation?
<Billy Donovan> With the committment and facilities in place at Florida, there is no question they will attract a top notch coach. Carol and I had a great relationship and I'm dissapointed she will not be coaching the Lady Gators next year.
[GatorSportsChick] Is Florida REALLY a basketball school? I don't see anything wrong with that but had to ask. :-)
<Billy Donovan> The Florida athletic program is one of the best overall athletic programs in the nation. We have success in a number of sports and I'm trying to get basketball to that consistent winning level.
[gatorman345] coach where do you think is the hardest place to play at
<Billy Donovan> There is a lot of tough venues in the SEC. Bud Walton and Rupp Arena are tough but the O'Dome is the toughest place for opponents to play
[MyGatorWorld] If you werent coaching basketball what do you think you'd be doing? Coaching another sport?
<Billy Donovan> Good question. Something related to athletics.
[DaMeatHook] How is Brent Wright doing? Do you keep in contact with him?
<Billy Donovan> Brent is overseas and speak with him periodically and he is doing well. I'm looking foward to seeing him this summer.
[Tim] How large of a role do you think Adrian Moss will be playing next year?
<Billy Donovan> It is hard to say right now, but he has tremendous work ethic and great charachter and is a tremendous team player and there is no question he will contribute in some way.
<Billy Donovan> Thanks for joining us today and hope everyone had a good time. Looking forward to talking to you again. Go Gators!
POST CHAT COMMENTS
<GatorSportsChick> Thanks Coach!
<Guest5220> thanks coach
<Jim> thanks
<GatorGauntlet> thanks coach!!
<MyGatorWorld> Hey Coach. Thanx for taking the time to chat with the fans! Hope you have a good offseasons and we looked forward to next year!!
<gatorman345> thanks for taking the time to talk to your fans coach GO GATORS
<GatorGauntlet> Go Gators!!
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