VETTEL: Can't win 'em all

A quick look at the Florida roster at the end of the season left two things pretty clear to me. One, Florida would have plenty of talent for the 2007-08 season, but the Gators had three significant areas of concern. Number one on the list was inexperience with just one upper classman, Walter Hodge and four sophomores who had played sparingly. Next was the absence of a true point guard.

While Hodge and Nick Calathes are both capable of running the point, neither is what I would call a true, natural point guard.

That concern went by the board when Jai Lucas signed with the Gators on Monday. I'm not saying Lucas is guaranteed to start, but he's an important piece to the puzzle.

The final concern was having just one player who was a natural in the post. Sure, Dan Werner and Jonathan Mitchell could play in the paint some of the time, but neither is a true post player. The same could be said for incoming freshmen Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons.

Well for the first time in more than a year things didn't go the Gators' way. Patrick Patterson's decision to attend Kentucky over Florida and Duke was a desperately needed boost for the Wildcats and a significant setback for the Gators. Patterson is a true power forward and could have joined Marreese Speights in giving Florida a pair of big, strong inside players. Instead the Gators will have to rely more on combo forward types like Alex Tyus, Dan Werner and Jonathan Mitchell. Unless of course something were to open up.

Donovan's Run is "A Joke"

I don't remember which opposing player Billy Donovan was speaking about several years ago (it might have been Stromile Swift), but I was amused when he referred to the guy as, "a joke". It was Donovan's way of describing the almost unfair combination of skills that player brought to the basketball floor. Well in an effort to put this next point in a similar context, Billy Donovan's last 15 months have been a joke.

When this stretch began Donovan was a guy who many were beginning to believe had taken the Florida program as far as he could. The Gators were in their eighth straight NCAA Tournament, but had gone five straight years without getting out of the first weekend. Florida had not won an SEC Regular season title and it appeared the ability to get the big name recruit had also gone and gone.

15 months ago the Gators were stuck as a tier two program. Better than most, but far from the elite. My what a difference 15 months can make.

Since then Florida has won 18, count ‘em 18 consecutive post-season games, including two perfect runs through the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. The Gators had highly regarded sophomores Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer and Horford turn down the NBA to make a run of defending their title. The Gators won that elusive SEC regular season title and Donovan was rewarded with a huge new contract. Now, despite Patterson's decision he has replenished the Gator roster with one of the nation's top recruiting classes.

That's a joke.

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