Grading the Gator Coaches

Our final look at the 2009-10 Gator basketball team includes grading Gator players and coaches for this past campaign. Florida had a similar season to the previous two, but the grades will be better because this team played harder more frequently and consistently than the two previous Florida squads.

This team also returned to the NCAA Tournament and gave a great performance in a double overtime loss.

Last week I graded the players. Now I'll take a look at the coaching.

The Gators finished 21-13 this season, but Donovan was able to guide the Gators back into the Big Dance after two seasons of just missing out and settling for the NIT. His 14th season on the Gator bench saw his team post its 12th straight 20-win season, earn its 13th straight post-season bid and 10th NCAA Tournament bid.

*************************************************************

Game coaching (B+) --- Florida was in every game and never got blown out despite a number of games with significant personnel shortcomings. Florida played a lot of close games and won several of them. Still you wonder what the end result for this season might have been had the Gators made game winning shots at the end of losses to Tennessee, Georgia and BYU.

Scheduling (B+) --- The Gators made it to the NCAA in large part thanks to a more challenging non conference schedule that included NCAA Tournament teams Syracuse, Michigan State, Florida State, Xavier and Richmond. The only negative is too many really bad teams with RPI rankings in the 300-plus range.

Roster management (B-) --- Donovan and his staff got everything they could have out of the top six players, but I have to believe more minutes for Ray Shipman would have helped Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton late in games and late in the season. Similarly Eric Murphy probably should have seen more than nine minutes a night.

Roster development (D+) --- Florida had only eight players they could trust on the floor and that should not happen with 13 scholarships to give. Only two of the eight were actually guards and that should never happen. The positive thing is that the five best players return for 2010-11 plus forward Eric Murphy. Add in Patric Young and Casey Prather you have another eight man team pending further recruiting and the potential returns of Kenny Kadji (likely) and Adam Allen (unlikely).

Roster projection (Incomplete) --- We don't know yet how the final roster will look for 2010-11 so we can't give a grade here. Florida knows at the very least it will return the primary starting five with Erik Murphy coming off the bench. The Gators trade Dan Werner and Ray Shipman for McDonald's All-American Patric Young and Tennessee Mr. Basketball finalist Casey Prather. Just those two gives Florida the No. 12 class in the country according to Scout.com, but the key to this grade is what else the Gators add. Florida has scholarships to work with and absolutely must add a quality guard whether it's a point guard, a dead-eye shooter or a combo guard really doesn't matter as long as he's good.


Fightin Gators Top Stories