Billy Donovan Press Conference Notebook

Billy Donovan recently returned from leading the USA Men’s U-19 team to a gold medal in the FIBA World Championships. The Donovan led team went undefeated throughout the tournament, extending Donovan’s record as a head coach in International play to 14-0.

Donovan took some time out of his day to meet with the media and update us on the status of some players, as well as talk about the experience of coaching the U-19 team.

FIBA Experience

  • Donovan called the chance to coach the team an “incredible experience.”
  • The biggest challenges they faced, in Donovan’s mind, were picking the team and then matching up against some international teams that have been practicing for months, and even up to a year in some cases. The USA team had only 10-12 days of practice after the team was assembled before playing their first game.
  • Donovan credited the players for having the right attitude and being mature enough to handle the situation of living in hotels, not speaking the language and adjusting to a different diet than they are used to. The team managed to do all that while still playing basketball at a very high level and achieving their ultimate goal.
  • Donovan said that he thinks Michael Frazier will benefit from the experience next season at Florida.

Player Updates

  • Will Yeguete entered the practice facility where Donovan was meeting with the media. Yeguete had a bandage around his knee and was walking with the aid of crutches following knee surgery.
  • Donovan said that the toughest part for him will be having to sit out for 6-8 weeks while the healing process occurs.
  • Yeguete is on schedule to be 100% by the time practice begins in the fall.
  • Patric Young also walked into the basketball facilities while we were speaking with Donovan. Young recently had surgery to repair an ankle injury but is also expected to be a full participant once basketball practice begins.
  • Kasey Hill is adjusting well to the college life.
  • Donovan said that Hill is earning the respect of his teammates. Donovan was quick to note that is the biggest hurdle that a player with his reputation needs to get past when entering a college locker room.
  • Donovan said that Scottie Wilbekin is still “not a member of our basketball team for the rest of the summer.”
  • Donovan said that he will sit down with Wilbekin before the fall semester but that Wilbekin knows what he needs to do in order to get back on the team.
  • Eli Carter is still going through the process of filing an appeal with Rutgers and the NCAA to be granted a waiver which would allow him to play this season.
  • Donovan said that he has been staying out of the situation – allowing Carter’s family to handle the matter with the NCAA and Rutgers.
  • Finally, there is still no new update on Chris Walker. He has still not been cleared by the NCAA but is working towards that every day.


Previous articleDriskel, Halapio and Easley to attend SEC Media Days
Next article51 Days to Toledo: Michael Taylor
Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC