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Billy Donovan #1 In ESPN Top 50 College Basketball Coaches

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#1
GatorUnvrsty

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Originally Published: July 3, 2014


Top 50 coaches: No. 1 Billy Donovan

By ESPN.com

Editor's note: Over the past five weeks, we revealed the top 50 coaches in college basketball as decided by our ESPN Forecast panel. Today we unveil No. 2: Kentucky's John Calipari and No. 1: Florida's Billy Donovan.

It was the spring of 2007, and Billy Donovan had options.

Donovan had just engineered the first back-to-back national championships in 25 years. He was just 42. In the matter of 10 seasons at Florida, he had put himself in the rarefied coaching stratosphere -- the place where you get to make your own demands and know they'll be met, where any college program will have you, where NBA general managers are bound to come calling.

It was all happening for Donovan. Throughout the spring, rumors of Kentucky's interest abounded. Donovan had been an assistant at UK under Rick Pitino; it's where he got his coaching start. Kentucky had just waved farewell to Tubby Smith, and was reportedly eager to reel Donovan in. But Donovan kept the Wildcats at arm's reach, refusing to acknowledge any official contact. Eventually, he demurred. Kentucky hired Billy Gillispie instead.

And then, in late May, the Orlando Magic came calling. The Magic had fired Brian Hill after two losing seasons. After a week of deliberation, Donovan agreed to take the job. On June 1, Donovan was introduced in Orlando. But on June 2, Donovan had changed his mind. The Magic grudgingly released him from his contract and hired Stan Van Gundy instead.

Think of the counterfactuals here. Had Donovan been remotely interested in Kentucky, he'd probably still be there. Gillispie would never have been hired. His successor, John Calipari, who has since turned Kentucky into an annual behemoth, might still be at Memphis. What if Donovan had stayed in Orlando? The Magic won 50-plus games in each of the next four seasons; they went to the NBA Finals in 2008-09, the season Florida slogged its way to a second consecutive NIT.

Instead, Donovan stayed. And seven years later, he's the No. 1 coach in our ESPN Forecast top 50.

In doing so, the Florida coach edged out Calipari, Tom Izzo, Mike Krzyzewski and Pitino. It's hard to think of a better testament to Donovan's current stature in the sport than this one.

http://espn.go.com/n...a-billy-donovan
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#2
zartan

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Since GU didnt say it, I will

Eat a dick, UK
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#3
PuddingTime

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Who's you're coach again UT? Go sit in the corner and don't talk until you're worth a damn at some sport. Any sport.

Cal is 10-5 against Billy. He has won more games than Billy. He has more players in the NBA than Billy. He has more Final Fours than Billy. Cal has had #1 classes every season, has Billy ever?

Billy has more SEC titles than Cal during his tenure here, but since we have 46 of them to UFs 7, we're willing to oblige you with that one.

The one thing you'll be able to stick in our craw that any KY fan will care at all about is Billys 2 titles to Cal's 1. That's what matters, so hats off. Not going to matter after we run train on the basketball landscape this season, in case you've forgotten who's returning and who's also coming in.

To reiterate, Cal has won more, and has beaten head to head Billy twofold. Let me know how that ranking works out for you. Well be bringing home hardware while we wait on your response.
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#4
zartan

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Two words why Cal is #2

Robert Morris


Can't have that on your résumé when you have the stacked deck UK has
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Mizzou_Fan

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View PostPuddingTime, on 04 July 2014 - 08:51 AM, said:

Who's you're coach again UT? Go sit in the corner and don't talk until you're worth a damn at some sport. Any sport.

Cal is 10-5 against Billy. He has won more games than Billy. He has more players in the NBA than Billy. He has more Final Fours than Billy. Cal has had #1 classes every season, has Billy ever?

Billy has more SEC titles than Cal during his tenure here, but since we have 46 of them to UFs 7, we're willing to oblige you with that one.

The one thing you'll be able to stick in our craw that any KY fan will care at all about is Billys 2 titles to Cal's 1. That's what matters, so hats off. Not going to matter after we run train on the basketball landscape this season, in case you've forgotten who's returning and who's also coming in.

To reiterate, Cal has won more, and has beaten head to head Billy twofold. Let me know how that ranking works out for you. Well be bringing home hardware while we wait on your response.
Let me guess, this season UK goes 40-0?

#6
PuddingTime

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View Postzartan, on 04 July 2014 - 08:58 AM, said:

Two words why Cal is #2

Robert Morris


Can't have that on your résumé when you have the stacked deck UK has
I don't agree it should drop him, but can't argue either. We should have won no excuses,;the team didn't give a damn about the game. Played like ass, and that's on him for not getting them over it. You can say it, Gators can't. That was the same year they laid down against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
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#7
PuddingTime

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View PostPuddingTime, on 04 July 2014 - 09:16 AM, said:

I don't agree it should drop him, but can't argue either. We should have won no excuses,;the team didn't give a damn about the game. Played like ass, and that's on him for not getting them over it. You can say it, Gators can't. That was the same year they laid down against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
Outside of the SEC we have Louisville, UNC, Kansas, UCLA, Texas, and Providence. A lot of possible pitfalls, but Louisville ain't gonna be one of em.
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PuddingTime

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Bottom line, we're happy with Cal, they're happy with Billy.
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GatorUnvrsty

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View PostPuddingTime, on 04 July 2014 - 08:51 AM, said:

Who's you're coach again UT? Go sit in the corner and don't talk until you're worth a damn at some sport. Any sport.

Cal is 10-5 against Billy. He has won more games than Billy. He has more players in the NBA than Billy. He has more Final Fours than Billy. Cal has had #1 classes every season, has Billy ever?

Billy has more SEC titles than Cal during his tenure here, but since we have 46 of them to UFs 7, we're willing to oblige you with that one.

The one thing you'll be able to stick in our craw that any KY fan will care at all about is Billys 2 titles to Cal's 1. That's what matters, so hats off. Not going to matter after we run train on the basketball landscape this season, in case you've forgotten who's returning and who's also coming in.

To reiterate, Cal has won more, and has beaten head to head Billy twofold. Let me know how that ranking works out for you. Well be bringing home hardware while we wait on your response.

You just described why Billy is #1. He's #1 because he has come by his accomplishments despite not having the same #1 classes and NBA-studded rosters that Cal has enjoyed.

In fact, if you look at the comments below the story, even fans of other top programs concede Billy's at the top of the heap right now; and I saw comments from Duke fans, UK fans, KU fans, MSU fans, and even UConn fans.

And how is Cal 10-5 against Billy? By my count he's 8-5, which certainly isn't twofold.

Edited by GatorUnvrsty, 04 July 2014 - 09:27 AM.

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#10
UK4Life

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People bash Cal for going to the NIT and rightfully so, yet no one talks about the fact that Billy went to the NIT not once, but two years in a row. I know he lost a lot but that's on him for not reloading. Cal has said he didn't recruit enough. I still believe we would of gotten to the NCAA had Noel not went down. That season was just a mess that was highlighted by a PG who was a soft as a cotton ball.
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PuddingTime

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View PostGatorUnvrsty, on 04 July 2014 - 09:25 AM, said:



You just described why Billy is #1. He's #1 because he has come by his accomplishments despite not having the same #1 classes and NBA-studded rosters that Cal has enjoyed.

In fact, if you look at the comments below the story, even fans of other top programs concede Billy's at the top of the heap right now; and I saw comments from Duke fans, UK fans, KU fans, MSU fans, and even UConn fans.

And how is Cal 10-5 against Billy? By my count he's 8-5, which certainly isn't twofold.
So your reasoning is that we have an unfair advantage because we recruit better.  It's the same story in football.

Kentucky football is more noble because we come by our wins with inferior players.  Rich Brooks was better than Steve Spurrier.  Cool story.
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Mizzou_Fan

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View PostPuddingTime, on 04 July 2014 - 12:31 PM, said:

So your reasoning is that we have an unfair advantage because we recruit better.  It's the same story in football.

Kentucky football is more noble because we come by our wins with inferior players.  Rich Brooks was better than Steve Spurrier.  Cool story.
The only difference is Kentucky doesn't win in football. If Kentucky had inferior players and managed to win 2 National Championships, people would be saying that Kentucky's coach was better than one with superior talent and 1 National Championship.

#13
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Cal has proven he can win from the lowly ranks of UMass all the way up to the highest peak in the land.  Acting like he's just now doing anything is absurd.

Cal owns the head to head. End of discussion.
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Do you get a trophy for winning head to head? Does Cal get paid just to beat Florida? The goal is to win championships and that's the most important thing.

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PuddingTime

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He's been to the Final Four three out of the last five years and was 2 pts away from making that four. What's Billy been up to?

It's like the rest of you haven't watched basketball at all. Billy had a magic class, got em to return. That's great.  He's not even as good a coach as Pitino though. This is really pretty absurd.

I guess my issue isn't him getting #1 over Cal...it's him getting #1. He's not the best coach in the country.  He simply isnt. He's done good for Florida and 5 hats fine though.
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