With no postseason berth, Florida Gators basketball ends disappointing 2014-15 campaign

By Adam Silverstein
March 15, 2015

One year after earning the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Florida Gators basketball (16-17) failed to qualify for the postseason as it did not receive a bid to the National Invitation Tournament and will not accept a bid to another event.

Florida (16-17, 8-10 SEC) posted its worst record since 1997-98, head coach Billy Donovan’s second season with the team. The Gators had qualified for the postseason in 17 consecutive years under Donovan, last failing to do so during his inaugural campaign at UF in 1996-97.

The No. 4-ranked strength of schedule and No. 70 RPI were simply not enough to help Florida. In a season filled with injuries and suspensions, ultimately the Gators only have themselves to blame for being in this position, due in large part to their inability to simply put the ball in the hoop.

The 63.7 points per game the Gators scored this season ranked No. 266 nationally and is the team’s lowest average since 1950-51 (62.7).

Florida’s .635 efficiency from the free-throw line (328th nationally) matched the program’s worst since 1992-93, while its .434 field-goal shooting (177th nationally) is the worst since 1995-96 (.426) and the second-lowest in program history.

UF finished 7-11 in games decided by single digits and 2-6 in contests that came down to two points or fewer. The Gators also ended a record of 16 consecutive seasons with 20+ victories, the longest such streak in the SEC and fifth-longest nationally.

Donovan stands as one of only eight coaches that have ever won 20+ games in 14+ consecutive seasons.

16 Comments

  1. SaraGator says:

    That sucks. I would think Billy’s name alone would get him in.

  2. Gatoralum88 says:

    Denied! C’est la vie! Again, “a lot of close losses” isn’t something to hang a hat on. Hopefully the embarrassment of this season & this snub will drive & motivate the returning guys to work harder this summer & listen more to Billy next year.

    • CodyP. says:

      It’s no “snub” when you go 16-17/8-10 in the SEC of all places. 5th ranked SOS or not, and playing UK 3 times sure did make that SOS look better. And we all know Donovan is one the best in the game, whether you’re a fan or not, but this is by far his worst coaching job EVER.. A team with Frazier, DFS, Hill and Walker on it shouldn’t be below .500.. 2012-13 UK was a huge success compared to this team.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        Worst coaching job ever? I think this was one of his best. He kept a bunch of kids together who didn’t lose faith in him while they failed to live up to their potential and as bad as they were, they were a much better team by the end of the year than when they started. These kids thought it would all come easy after seeing the last few years and when thrown into the heat of battle, they didn’t have the heart or mental toughness to stay above it. They never gave up though. even when they got down, they always kept scrapping.

        Mental discipline I think is the obvious thing here. If it weren’t, the team would have been 75% or better FT rather than 63.5%. That would have translated into 10+ more wins.

        I find it hard to fault Billy when you think Demontre Harris was supposed to fill the middle, Chris walker was supposed to be Prime Time come into his own, Hill was supposed to step up and be a stellar PG, The sharp shooting of DFS and MF2. But between defections, and kicked off team and injuries and suspensions, he kept them all still learning and trying. This should translate well into next year especially if Walker decides NBA is a stupid idea and Egbunu steps plays to the potential many think he has. Francis being available, etc.

      • ThatGuy15 says:

        Are you really blaming this season on Billy D? He did everything he could and this team couldn’t click. Not his fault

      • CodyP. says:

        Trust me, I’m not saying the man is a bad coach. Anyone that knows even the slightest about CBB knows he’s in the elite of the elites category, but he also recruited these players that had all these problems and he recruited the ones that didn’t live up to their billing.. That’s still on him.. Not the individuals he put on the floor TOGETHER.. They didn’t pick each other, they picked Donovan… Im not saying it proves he’s a bad coach or can’t coach, what I am saying is this team wasn’t good, front start to finish, regardless of how much better they improved, they still wasn’t good at all and was a complete eye sore. So the improvement you talk about was going from horrendous to horrible. That’s on the players AND coaches. Can’t tell me this team didn’t have enough talent to be good, or even decent.. All coaches have bad years, ask Coach K in the mid 90’s. Doesn’t make him any worse, but again, this was by far his worst coaching job.

      • Gatoralum88 says:

        Cody, the reason I wrote “snub” is because I had read a story last week on a “Bracketology” website how the Gators had a strong chance of becoming the first losing team ever to get an NIT bid based on their BPI (34…higher than ½ the NCAA field & ALL of the NIT field) and kenpom.com ranking (45…higher than 24 NCAA tourney teams & all of NIT)… & saying the standard RPI is a bit outdated and doesn’t measure things like “close losses”, “missing key players”, etc…which they should take into consideration blah, blah, blah. Frankly, I’m more in line with the RPI’s thinking & feel a MINUMUM for post-season consideration should be a winning record.

        So, with all that in mind, all it would have likely taken to not only get in the NIT but perhaps a fairly high seed was 1 more win….Kurtz catching the ball rather than tipping it in vs FSU… or just 1 defensive stop in the final seconds against Miami…or Georgetown…or Ole Miss (twice)…or Texas A&M. Instead, they’ll all be like me this weekend… just watching. What a shame.

  3. Marc says:

    Shout out to the NIT selection committee for sparing us from having to watch this train wreck any longer.

  4. KB says:

    Only a couple of years ago Kentucky missed the NCAA tournament and got ousted by Robert Morris in the NIT. A bad year is bound to happen every now and then. Who really cares about the NIT if you don’t make the big dance. No doubt in Billy Donovan or his ability to turn it around by this Gator fan. If Kasey Hill was able to deliver better guard play at the most pivotal times during this year they might have been a bubble team anyway. On to next year and concentrating on improving the team I say.

    • CodyP. says:

      Did you really just compare this below .500 Florida team that didn’t EVEN GET INVITED TO THE NIT to a team that went 21-12 and 12-6 in the SEC and was an actual bubble team and would have without a doubt made the tourney had they not lost one of the 5 best players in the entire country??

      • ThatGuy15 says:

        He didn’t. He’s just naming an example of good teams having a down season. Chill

      • CodyP. says:

        If it wasn’t a comparison then what was it? Example you say? Ok, I’ll go with that if that is the word you want to use, but still a bad EXAMPLE…. Opposite ends of bad. UK was disappointing in 2013, Florida was an absolute hot mess this year. So…example or comparison, still a bad one to use.. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team with that much talent be as bad as Florida was.

        • Gatorgrad79 says:

          CodyP, Stop stressing yourself out and go watch baseball…wait ’till next year….

  5. Ken (CA) says:

    Other than sub-.500 I don’t think is eligible for any post-season event that doesn’t have automatic bids, Why would they refuse to play in anything other than the NCAA or NIT if offered? seems like more practice and games would help them.

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