Thursday, April 05, 2007

PM Quickie: Donovan Staying! (Yes!)
Arenas Out 2-3 Months! (No!)

What a good-news/bad-news situation for me today:

Good news: Billy Donovan is staying at Florida
. I really thought this would happen, but I'm relieved that it's "official" nonetheless. (Until the NBA comes calling...) He's got a hell of a recruiting class coming, too. Final Four threepeat in '08? Why not? (You mock, sure, but when Donovan lost Lee, Roberson and Walsh two years ago and had four anonymous, inexperienced rising sophomores entering the starting lineup, you didn't see '06 coming either.)

Meanwhile, this has to throw Kentucky into a frenzy. They obviously can have their choice of (almost) any coach. So who will it be? How about Billy Gillespie, who just signed a deal to stay at Texas A&M? How about Jay Wright from Villanova? Or how about Texas' Rick Barnes?

Bad news: Gilbert Arenas is done for the season, out 2-3 months with a knee injury that will require surgery. The season's biggest breakout NBA star -- and my favorite player -- done. Think back to the "Agent Zero" mania back before the All-Star Break. Now this. Ugh. (Oh, and without both Arenas and Butler, the Wizards might as well not even show up for the playoffs. Yeesh. Without those two, that could be the worst team in the NBA.)

Plus: Bob Huggins is indeed going to West Virginia. Kind of a dick move. K-State rescued his unemployable ass (though it's not like they didn't get something out of it, too). They go from a team on the cusp of a sick season to... old K-State. Especially when that awesome recruiting class backs out and heads to... oh, I don't know... maybe Morgantown, WV? Wonder what top prep and K-State commit Michael Beasley is thinking right now? (I know: "See ya!")

I will be wearing my custom-made Agent Zero T-shirt and my official Florida basketball game shorts the rest of the day, as homage to this ultimate good-news/bad-news afternoon.

-- D.S.


P Cody said...

As a Xavier student, fewer things make me happier than seeing Bob Huggins continue to screw more programs. K-State is now screwed, as you said, Seeya Beasely and hopefully Bill Walker as well. What an awesome day hahahahaha

TJ said...

I don't know when ESPN cut out, but the Gator press conference has been nice. And emotional. Horford and Brewer are crying, and even Joakim Noah is subdued (for Joakim Noah). Just cool to see 4 guys who love each other and love playing together so much.

(OK, now it's getting a little rowdy. I love these guys.)

pv845 said...

Troy, I understand your love for these guys as a Gator fan, but seriously????

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

I know Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah will all be top 10 picks this year.

But why is Taurean Green leaving school early? I don't understand any reasoning behind that, besides just out of novelty that all four of those guys want to leave at the same time.

If anyone has indicated to Green that he has a chance to be a first round pick in this year's draft, they're severely misinforming the young man. He definitely needs another year in school if he expects to make an NBA roster his rookie year.

TJ said...


I posted why I think he's leaving on the previous post, but I can't imagine any way his draft stock improves if he stays another year. He's got a good shot at the second round and I think that's enough to get out now.

Brian in Oxford said...

Plus, that Japanese pitcher did pretty well in his debut....

(bad call on the stolen base notwithstanding)

Anonymous said...

Is the ink dry on that OJ Mayo to USC deal yet?

Considering that Huggins rode his jock the 3 years he played prep in Cinci and that Mayo is from WV...just saying...nothing would surprise me...

And man how bad did Bill Walker get screwed by the new NBA rule? Goes to K-State to play for Huggy, blows out his knee out and now "Da Bear" heads to WVU???

Leaving Bill to try and enter draft (coming off injury), continue at K-State knowing he doesn't want to be there or transfer and have to sit out a year...

Big Blog of Basketball Lists said...

@ troy (gainesville)

If Joakim said to jump off a bridge would Taurean do it?

I see your point that his stock probably can't improve too much, at best Taurean Green will be a solid role player some day in the NBA.

But why not milk one more year out of college. It's not like his draft stock will go down, and there's some chance it goes up.

Melbye said...

I still can't believe that there is nothing in place to stop guys from pulling a Huggins or Dennis Erickson (Idaho for ASU). It takes a program like those a couple years to recoup from a blow like that. I did laugh out loud, as it has been a long time since I read something as honest as your description of the move. "What a dick move." Classic!

TJ said...


Simply put, I'm just not sure what else there is to milk out of college for Taurean. If all my friends left and I knew I probably had a solid job waiting for me, I'm pretty sure I'd bolt too.

Besides, if it doesn't work out, I'm sure there will be plenty of room in one of the other guys' entourages.

Unknown said...

Bill Walker- my bet is that he will enter the draft after filing the paper work. The rule actually says something like "cannot enter the draft until one year after high school schould be graduated". As his high school ruled him inelligible for this year because he was left back and was therefore too old, I'm guessing that it won't matter that he graduated in October instead of June. He still had a year when he should have been in college. If I had to bet I'd say he'd get in, and be a top 10 pick.

Michael Beasley- I'm pretty sure he can just get up to go to West Virgina because of the coaching change. If he is forced to stay at K-State I'd bet that he decides to go play ball in Spain for a year and then enter the draft.

O.J. Mayo- This is intruiging. I'm not sure if he ever signed an official letter of intent. But if he didn't, he's following Huggins. He is from West Virginia. That'd he crazy with him and Beasley who are best friends, by the way.

Mills said...

No way K-State will release Beasley and let him go play for Huggins. They will let him out of his commitment, but not to go play for Huggiebear.

I think Tenn. did not let Tyler Smith (Iowa forward) out of his commitment when the Vols hired Bruce Pearl, and he had to go to prep school for year.

Maybe K-State makes Beasly do that?

Anonymous said...

There nothing worse than wanting to attend the New Thug U.(West Virgina.)

Bob Huggins shouldn't leave Kansas State,let a lone he has the top recruiting class at KSU(Michael Beasley,ect.)

What selling point can any coach give a kid just to have interest for West Virgina basketball?


Anonymous said...

O.J. Mayo,signed last year(June) to attend USC.

Unknown said...

wow anyone have knee pads for DS? i think billy donovan feels unattended

Trey (formerly TF) said...

So happy that Billy not only elected to stay, but turned down UK without a formal interview.

Anyways. I will really miss the 04's at UF and look foward to the new guys coming in.

Thanks guys for 2 great years that I will never forget.

Go Gators!!

Joe (Dayton)

Jon said...

Losing that starting 5 is a huge blow. Those guys were special. Calathes is overrated and looks like a Paulus type player. If they can somehow convince Lucas and Patterson come to Gainesville then I could see them as a potential second weekend team....if they don't they're a bubble team.

Jay Wright's not going to Kentucky. He has a better team at Villanova and will be there until the Sixers come calling in a few years. Kentucky would be best trying to get Izzo. Good luck with that though. What about Travis Ford at UMass? Isn't he a KU guy?

Bob Huggins is a WVU guy. Not a dick move. Beasley is a beast, tough loss for KState....poor Bill Walker stuck out there next year without the rest of that recruiting class.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@ mills:

It's not a matter of "not wanting him to go to West Virginia." Billy Walker will ask for his release from KSU and they will give it to him. Why? Because they don't want him on the team if he doesn't want to be there. By releasing him of his scholarship, they gain another. If they don't, then they can't get another player (JUCO players are huge at times like this because they can come in and play right away). Trust me...I know. I'm a Dayton fan and when their point guard left after 1 year there, I was so pissed. I couldn't understand why Dayton's coach released his scholarship when the player totally fucked over the program. He was released and Dayton got to use that scholarship right away. That's how it works.

Anonymous said...

i already miss hibachi. THis is the worst day ever, oh the yankees lost. Its just a bad day.

Wilson said...

not to derail the florida-suckfest, but why no mention of your douche of an ex-coworker shutting down TheBigLead????

jimcaserta said...

Donovan also lost Drejier, who I think was starting at the time, in mid season, in addition to Lee, Walsh & Peep.

The biggest difference between the 04-05 and 05-06/06-07 Gators was team chemistry. Donovan knows how key that is, and has some idea on how to build and maintain it.