Coach Billy Donovan on Roberson and Coach Shyatt

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with local media on Tuesday to discuss a variety of topics ranging from Anthony Roberson to the hiring of new assistant coach Larry Shyatt. The following is a brief transcript of Donovan's comments.

Donovan Quotes 5/11/04

On Anthony Roberson: "Right now I'm fully expecting to have him back. I think Anthony would at least pick up the phone and call. He did go home for Summer A right now. He and I have had conversations over the last several weeks, of which a lot of it has not been based around him leaving or going. He's not given me any indication that he wants to go. There was a midnight deadline last night, so I don't know in terms of how the NBA updates guys that enter into the draft. I have not heard anything from Anthony that said hey listen coach I've decided to make a jump, I've decided to go. I think I said after the season was over with that my job and responsibility was to try to guide Anthony and provide him with resources and information to the best of my ability to try to help him make a good, educated decision. Whatever he decides from there has got to be his decision. I'll be supportive of it, so it's not like over the last six weeks I've taken his pulse everyday with where you at, what are you doing, what are you doing. I really want him, if he wants to be back here, I really want him to have that be his decision. That's all I know right now."

"I have a good enough relationship with Anthony that if something like that if something like that was going to go on, I would know. Would I be shocked if he entered? Yes, that would shock me. I fully intended him to come back. I have not had a conversation with him over the last 24 hours where he has said coach, I am coming back. I have made my decision, I'm here. Anthony and I do speak. It's not like we speak everyday about that. I don't want to wear him out about that. Again, I want it to be his decision. I've talked to him several times. We've had conversations just in terms of what he's doing working out, how he's doing, and where he's at. He always says to me coach right now I expect to come back and that's what I want to do. That's what he says. Again, I don't have any clear-cut comment. I also made a comment, too, that I thought Christian Drejer wasn't going anywhere. At that time, I didn't think that. I don't think that right now, at this point in time, but I did not speak to Anthony, nor was I racing around yesterday trying to see is he going or is he coming. I didn't do that. I would hope that Anthony would call. I think that we have a good enough relationship that that would happen, but you're right that if the list comes out it's pretty much over in terms of the deadline for anyone being able to enter into the NBA draft."

On Larry Shyatt: "The staff that we had here before Larry's arrival has been with me for a long time. I think I have great respect and admiration and there is a tremendous bond of friendship there. All of those guys have done a great, great job for me. I think any leadership role that I'm in right now, I think my job is to move around pieces and parts and put guys in positions where we can be the most effective staff we can be. I don't think it is any different from our team. Guys have roles, guys have different responsibilities. You have to move around important responsibilities. You have to move around roles, move around positions. It's not like it's a situation where Billy Donovan is unhappy with anybody on the previous staff. I look at us trying to get better, how do we get better. I think Larry is a guy that I've known for a long, long time. When I got out of college, he came into Providence with Rick Barnes. After I left to go to University of Florida, he interviewed for the Marshall job. We had conversations. He and I have a pretty long history together. I have great respect for him. I think he is a very, very good defensive coach, a very good basketball coach. I think he's been a very, very good recruiter. He's had to recruit in some difficult places, and he's done a great job there. Obviously, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. I also think that we have guys in place here right now from a staff standpoint that everybody's role that we have right now is really extremely important in terms of everybody collectively as a staff doing the best job we can."

"I think generally sometimes people make staff changes when quote-unquote you've had a bad year. Again, we had a great year. Did we have a bad year? No, we won 20 games, get to the NCAA tournament with the third youngest team. We finished third in our league in terms of overall record. I think sometimes people make decisions and all of a sudden things are really, really bad. Teams are 14 and 14 with losing records and things like that. This is a situation where I just talked to some different people. I knew Larry was out there. We had had some conversations about his interest level, and he said he would be very, very interested. I just felt like it would be great because I've had a lot of guys with me for a long period of time. Anthony Grant has been with me for 10 years. Donnie Jones has been with me for 10 years. Tom Ostrom is going on nine years, so our staff has been together and they have done an unbelievable job. I also think adding freshness, adding newness, new ideas, change, a different perspective looking at things always makes you better. When you've got a guy of that quality that is out there that's got an interest in you, you can make some changes and make some moves that can make us better. I think that the knee-jerk reaction is that we got knocked out of the NCAA tournament the last few years but we've had good years. We've won 20 games in one of the toughest conferences in the country. We've been to the NCAA tournament six years in a row. There's no question we want to get deeper. I can't sit here and tell you that with Larry Shyatt on our staff that now we're just going to go to the Final Four. There is no question, I think that with Larry Shyatt on board that it makes us better with his experience."

"I think from my standpoint I have to be totally secure in myself to bring in someone like that. The other thing, too, is Larry comes in here with a tremendous amount of humility. He comes in with a tremendous amount of trying to do whatever he can to help. I think our staff is on board. I think everyone on the staff really feels good about what he can bring to the table. I'm always trying to make us better. I've been in a situation where I've been on the bench and I have had younger guys than I have now. We may be the youngest staff in the country top to bottom to play for a national championship. We've had a lot of success with a young staff. I don't know what type of success we will have with an older guy, but it's a piece that I feel like is coming in with new ideas, new philosophy, new change. That's not to say that Larry is going to come in and all of a sudden offer lots of changes. He's going to learn in terms of what I believe in and the way we want to do things. I think he is a guy that has coached in the ACC, coached in the Big East, has coached in the conferences that he has coached in. He has been through a lot of this. I also think that he has such a good personality. He's such a humble guy. I think he wants to help so much that I think he will be really great on the road recruiting as well. Obviously, it's a two-part piece. It's a coaching piece and a recruiting piece."

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