Billy Donovan: The Most Underrated Coach in College Basketball

Discussion in 'Nuttin' but Net' started by Gatorrick22, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. buddhistgator
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    buddhistgator Active Member

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    I think two things sets Billy apart from many of his peers. First, almost all of the other top coaches are at schools that are identified with basketball first and foremost. It's a brand identity thing and there is no doubt that coaches at Duke, UNC, Kansas, Louisville, Kentucky, Syracuse etc. are the kings of their respective campuses. Not so at Florida, where football rules and basketball is under the radar. I've never been to a UK sports talk forum, but I would guess there is at least ten times as much traffic as NBN.

    The # 2 issue, which is probably connected to the first, is that Billy is so modest and self-effacing. Turn on a Duke game and Coach K is always so intense that he looks like he's going to have a stroke. Calipari and Pitino are always demonstrative and yelling at officials and players. Billy is pretty stoic with with his arms folded over his chest and after the game he always says the right thing. He blends in. He isn't a self promoter. In an entertainment business like college basketball, drama is highly sought after and Billy doesn't bring it.
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  2. regurgigator
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    regurgigator VIP Member

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    Does every fan base have articles being written about their coach/program like this article? I'd like to see them, if so. (Again, I assume this guy has no connection to UF.)

    And, why do I hear the talking heads who do talk up Donovan say that Donovan should be considered along with those other top coaches like it's some kind of REVELATION? Do they present it that way when they talk about Izzo or Self or any of the other top coaches? No, not that I've heard. No, they talk about those other coaches as though everyone already knows they are top coaches (even if their records aren't quite the equal of Donovan's) and are getting the recognition they deserve. Because they are - unlike Donovan...although the I think the tide is starting to turn.
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  3. benheb
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    benheb Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he is underrated. I'm pretty sure the elite eight streak has erased any doubt in even casual fans of college bball.

    However, our fan base is just not traditionally basketball oriented. It has slowly been changing - I'm amazed how much we're on TV and this year might be a game changer but we still have a sluggish fan base relative to the success of our program. That means you're going to talk big east and ACC if you're a national guy.
  4. TampaGatorFan
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    TampaGatorFan Well-Known Member

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    Who the hell is Billy Donavan?
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  5. 08gatorbait
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    08gatorbait Well-Known Member

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    So how would you guys rate coaches anyways...it really is pretty hard to rate past Coach K whom is clearly number 1.
    1. Coach K
    2. Rick Pitino
    3. Tom Izzo
    4. Billy Donovan
    5. Jon Calipari
    6. Jim Boeheim
    7. Bill Self
    8. Roy Williams

    That's the group of elites I think...everyone else is a step behind.
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  6. UFLAW81
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    UFLAW81 Premium Member

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    I agree with this list, but I don't necessarily agree with the order.

    When UF-UK draws the same TV ratings as Duke-NC, Donovan will begin to challenge Coach K for the top spot.
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  7. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything you've said about fan base bias, but the reason that I take this claim seriously is that the claim was about him being "underrated", not "disrespected", which I think are two very different things. I have never heard anyone say anything about him (other than Roy Williams), but our announcers keep harping that Billy needs to be mentioned as one of the best coaches in America. I think that there is a reason that they feel the need to do so. It simply seems that Billy isn't in the limelight like guys like Coach K and Cal.
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  8. rtgator
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    rtgator VIP Member Premium Member

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    I agree that those who are most knowledgeable about college basketball (i.e. Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, Dykes, etc.) give Billy his due. But, most of the rest don't mention Billy unless they're covering a Gator game.

    IMHO, the media in general do not give Billy and the Gator program the credit they deserve. For example, the spin following our Elite 8 game last year was that we were the first school to lose 3 straight Elite 8 games, rather than we were the only school to make it to the Elite 8 the last three years.

    But, I've noticed that this year people are mentioning the 3 straight Elite 8's as the accomplishment that it is. Maybe people are coming around because of the success of this year's team.
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  9. bullish
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    bullish Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully, we go deep in the tourney again, good for the gators and Billy's reputation. My thoughts on Billy are he is a great coach! not emotional which I wish he would be on court, but overall you can't deny his body of work. I think that he looks at things like MM as something as not needed, too silly. I think he thinks that way because they didn't do it when he played, but I think the kids would like it if someone could put together a fun evening for the fans and the players, which really has never been done at Florida. If we go deep this year, with the schedule we have the next two years, playing in the Bahamas, Jerry's dome! the newly announced four team tournament in preseason! elite players will have real good reasons to make Gainseville their home for a short while? a final four would be greatness for the fans, UF and Billy's rep and recruiting.

    for Billy to win the coaching award for this year! he would have to beat Kentucky on the road! Win the SEC tournament and go to the Final four due to countrywide prejudice voters. at this point they couldn't deny him, I nam all in for Billy whether this happens or not? this weekend's game is going to be a war, I hope we play well and no one gets hurt. WE have a great team, hopefully they will get to their goals.
  10. rtgator
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    rtgator VIP Member Premium Member

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    " . . . . . . . . like it's some kind of REVELATION?"

    Excellent point.
  11. tommyvee
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    tommyvee Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I kinda like that Billy and the Gators are underrated though. It fits our scrappy us-vs-the-world style.
  12. bullish
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    bullish Well-Known Member

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    I believe the prejudice comes from not being in a great television market with talking heads from the west coast, Midwest one the northeast. the only thing Billy can do to get to the top three of coaches is to win another championship like some others have mentioned and I agree.
  13. PSGator66
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    Outstanding read!! Thanks Rick
  14. rtgator
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    rtgator VIP Member Premium Member

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    Generally, a good ranking. But, I'd move Calipari to the bottom of the list because of the two vacated Final Four appearances. It's close, but I'd bump Billy above Izzo: Izzo has more Final Four appearances, but Billy has two titles in a row and only Coach K and Billy have done that since John Wooden.
  15. REM08
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    REM08 Well-Known Member

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    Haven't really thought this through much (usually a good indication not to post...), but I wonder if the general population of college bball fans don't put much stock in tournament runs until teams reach the final four. I just don't hear much talk of elite eight appearances period. Not that its not impressive, but it seems to me the bump in notoriety when a team makes a final for is disproportionate to the fact that its only one more round.
  16. madgator
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    madgator Well-Known Member

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    I would put Izzo ahead of Pitino......and I would probably put Boeheim ahead of BD and DEFINITELY caliperi.

    To put something in perspective in regards to Boeheim. People have been making a point to mention that BD has taken UF to 16 straight 20+ win seasons. That means that Billy has to have 20+ win seasons for the next 20 years straight to match this.

    Since 1976, JBs first year at Cuse......In those 38 seasons, he has 36 20+ win seasons. And not one sub-.500 season.

    I can agree that in almost 40 years he doesn't have the championship or even the final four resume that jumps out at you. He also had a few teams that underachieved over the years. But still, he has maintained a level of consistency playing in what was arguably (key word) the toughest conference in college basketball.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  17. outbackjack
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    Again, the general "talking heads".

    I've heard the opposite from the faceless "talking heads".

    And the "it's some kind of revelation" is an opinion of yours.

    Until there is a posted list of greatest current coaches, voted on by all who apparantly matter, then this discussion is ridiculous.....because it's completely opinion based and arbitrary.
  18. regurgigator
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    regurgigator VIP Member

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    It's not an opinion. Listen to the words coming out of their mouths.
  19. outbackjack
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  20. outbackjack
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    Because it wasn't Jason Williams. Or Seth Greenberg. Or Jay Bilas. Or Dick Vitale. Or Jimmy Dykes.

    Or Doug Gottlieb. Or Bobby Knight. Or Mark Jones.

    All who give rave reviews of Billy, and have stacked him at the top ever since 2006.

    Are we talking about all of the other "talking heads"?

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