Donovan Ready for Draft Night

I hope you can stand one more article that includes both Billy Donovan AND the NBA. The Gator Basketball Coach will be in New York Thursday night for the annual NBA Draft and he is likely to witness history being made.

No school has ever had three players chosen in the top ten picks of the first round, but there is an excellent chance that will change when Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah walk across the stage to shake the hand of NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The draft will be the final chapter in the Gator lives of that trio, and it's appropriate that Donovan be there despite his dalliance with the Orlando Magic last month. Not only will he see three guys chosen early, but it's like that both Taurean Green and Chris Richard will also be chosen. Who knows, Lee Humphrey might make it a six pack before the second round is over.

Donovan spoke with some media guys Wednesday to share his thoughts on a number of draft-related topics.

Donovan on helping guys get ready ----- "I tried to talk a lot to them about what they are going into with the workouts. Your process really gets flipped on you. When you go through high school and everybody is telling you why they want you to be part of their program. And you get the chance to pick where you want to go. This is really a situation where there's an investment made by a team and they're picking you. You're not in control. I think that can bring on a lot of uneasiness as you go through these workouts. They were interviewing schools four years ago and now people are interviewing them."

Donovan on deciding to attend the draft in person ----- "There have always been invitations for me to go, but I always tried to stay away. That's their time. But I really think that this (draft) is not only really significant for them, it's really significant for the University of Florida and its basketball program. I thought it would be important that I'm there just to support them as well. They told me they would like for me to be there as well and I told them I would do that."

Donovan on three certain number one picks ---- "I think we've been very fortunate. There are a lot of times when you are recruiting a high school kid and you kind of know this kid is a definite pro. I really felt a guy like Kwame Brown when we recruited him that no matter how he played his freshman year he was going to play in the NBA. Then you see a guys like Udonis Haslem develop and Jason Williams develop and Al Horford develop and Joakim Noah develop and Taurean Green develop. To see that as a coach over a period of time makes you feel proud. And it makes you understand to try and teach these younger guys that it's not about where you're ranked or how good people think you are. It's about how good you want to become."

Donovan on the historical significance ----- "To potentially have in the first ten picks, three guys walk to the stage and then maybe another two guys Chris Richard and Taurean (Green) get drafted following, I think to have five or six guys in one draft is unheard of."

Donovan on Taurean Green and the NBA ----- "I'm biased towards all of these guys because I coached them, but I think I have a pretty good feel for what a lot of these NBA teams are looking at. I think that is Taurean gets drafted after the first round whoever gets him it's going to be a huge steal in my mind. I just don't think you can see and put a value on the things that he's done. If you are trying to win a championship, there's been no other point guard in the country that's done it better than him. If you look at his record over his time here and what he's done I think it speaks for itself. He's made big shots. I think he can play in pick and roll. If you look at our team Joakim Noah missed some games with injuries and health issues over his career. Al Horford missed some games with a high ankle sprain. Corey Brewer had the mono. The one guy who was a constant the whole two years and played the most minutes was Taurean Green. For our team to win with no expectations, and then our team to win with all the expectations you better have a very very tough-minded point guard."

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