Donovan Comments on Tournament

As the Florida men's basketball team prepares for their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, head coach Billy Donovan comments on his team heading into this weekend's first-round matchup vs. Sam Houston State...

Opening Statement:

First of all, we're very excited about having the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament. Certainly, very happy about having a No. 2 seed and having an opportunity to play in Tampa. I've known Bob Marlin, the coach at Sam Houston State, for a lot of years. He's an outstanding coach and I'll have a chance to watch them on film and get a better feel of their basketball team. I know some of the teams he's coached in junior college, and the places he's been, his kids are always well coached. All I can say right now is we're excited about being in the NCAA Tournament and we're looking forward to playing some time on Friday.

What was your reaction to the No. 2 seed you received?

We've had some very good wins against some very good teams and I think that what they do in the selection committee is look at the whole entire year. I think people sometimes fail to realize that when you've got six freshmen, what this team's been able to accomplish to get a No. 2 seed is just a statement of what happened the whole entire year. I think this is the first time in Florida school history they've been a No. 2 seed. I'm proud of our basketball team with what they've done this year, the fact that they were able to win 24 games and get a two seed. I thought we were right around a two or a three seed.

What was the team's reaction to the No. 2 seeding?

I think that they were excited. I think they were excited about being in the tournament, being in Tampa, Tampa being close to Gainesville. I think our guys are excited. I know lots has been made of our last three games. I'm really happy with our basketball team. I think our guys have accomplished a lot this year. People fail to realize we've got six freshmen. There are going to be some ups and downs with freshman, maybe more so than anytime here over my seven years. We've relied maybe on freshmen more this year than any other year I've been here. I think our guys understand that you've got to play well from this point forward.

What are the advantages of playing close to home?

You get a chance to play in your own state which I think is a positive, too, but once the ball comes up, you've got to play. Hopefully in Tampa there will be a great crowd to watch us play. I know we've had great support from Tampa, and around the state. I know the larger the crowd, I certainly think that is beneficial in this type of situation.

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