Chat with Billy Donovan
Donovan has two National Championships in three title game appearances.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan stops by to chat about the hoops season.
Donovan, in his 14th season leading the Gators, has 12 straight 20-win seasons, two 30-win seasons, including a school record 35 wins in 2006-07 and thirteen consecutive postseason appearances. His Gators (20-5, 9-2 SEC) are currently ranked No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and first in the SEC East.
Off the court, Donovan's players have excelled in the classroom. A league-best 52 Gators have been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll under Donovan.
Send your questions now and join Donovan Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Watch the Gators as they take on the LSU Tigers February 20 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Buzzmaster (1:53 PM)
Florida coach Billy Donovan will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (2:01 PM)
Coach is here!
Billy, How in the Heck did you go into the Cintas Center and pull out a W? Not many teams can do that.
Billy Donovan (2:02 PM)
Xavier played a great game in Gainesville last year and our guys knew how good Xavier was and how much of a challenge it would be and we were fortunate to come away with a win.
What's your opinion of the Vanderbilt gym-set up? How do you prepare for that as opposed to other games with a traditional bench set up?
Billy Donovan (2:03 PM)
Leading up to that game, we try to have a lot of hand signals, so all of our players are on the same page. It's a very unique situation to coach in. I think most of our veteran players are used to the set up.
Hey coach, do you think it makes your job harder as a coach being at a predominately football school or do you use it to your advantage?
Billy Donovan (2:04 PM)
Football is a tremendous bonus for our basketball program and I hope basketball is a bonus for our football program. Bringing a kid to a campus visit in the fall to a football game is a tremendous environment. And I think our fans have given us a tremendous impact.
Adam R (Albany)
Billy, which National title meant more to you: Your 1st or being able to repeat?
Billy Donovan (2:05 PM)
They both had significant meaning. The first championship, we were unranked and we really came together as a team and played our best basketball in March. The second one was unique because there was such expectation to repeat and being No. 1 preseason. Both championships were rewarding.
Fred (Gainesville, FL)
Dear Coach Donovan,This team has been your most successful one since the '04's won the back to back championships. What about this current team's playing style and attitude really sticks out as different from the '04s, and do you think they have the potential to make a deep run in March?
Billy Donovan (2:06 PM)
We have a lot of veterans on this year's team. Guys have continued to work hard to get better. It's been a fun group to coach, because there's an eagerness to want to get better.
ed rex ga [via mobile]
What do you think about the success of joakim noah???
Billy Donovan (2:07 PM)
I always thought Jo would be a great player at the NBA level and it would take him a year or two to learn. Jo was an incredible competitor and even better teammate. He understands everything that comes to winning. The most important thing for Jo is winning.
clay nashville tn [via mobile]
have u ever seen the sec east this balanced and how many teams do u think deserve ncaa bids from the sec?
Billy Donovan (2:08 PM)
The league is incredibly balanced this year. It's been as competitive this year as any I can remember. I think this is a year that the SEC will get 5-6 teams in.
Billy, What do you think of your former assistant Anthony Grant of his job his done at Alabama?
Billy Donovan (2:08 PM)
Anthony has done a great job. I'm very proud of him. It's quite remarkable how they started their season and now where they are today shows the job they've done in getting better from November to January.
nick (norfolk and va [via mobile]
What is the team's greatest strength
Billy Donovan (2:09 PM)
I would say we're a very balanced team and one that's played unselfish all year long. And one that has great chemistry.
William (Orlando, FL) [via mobile]
How important is recruiting and landing a talented big man that can provide depth off the bench next year?
Billy Donovan (2:10 PM)
Recruiting is the life line to any college program. The ability to have good quality big men in your program is always a premium.
owen, gainesville fl [via mobile]
You seem to have avoided the one and done pro jump for the most part is that due to the type of players you recruit? Ps. E walker is a beast.
Billy Donovan (2:11 PM)
We are trying to sign the best players that we feel would be the best fit at Florida. I am not opposed to taking one and done players, as long as they're a good fit. Each year, we're trying to fill our recruiting needs with the best players for Florida.
Obviously the O'dome is the best venue in the SEC...what's the toughest place for the Gators to go on the road to?
Billy Donovan (2:13 PM)
There are a lot of great environments in the SEC. In the West, Arkansas has a great homecourt environment. Rupp Arena in the East has always been great to play in.
tommy daytona beach [via mobile]
Coach, how do u like our depth thus far?
Billy Donovan (2:14 PM)
I think our depth is much improved over a year ago. I feel like our young players have given us a rotation off the bench that's given us more depth.
Billy Donovan (2:14 PM)
Thanks for everyone that was following the chat! Go Gators. I appreciate all of your support!