Former Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan has not spoken much since leaving the program for the NBA‘s Oklahoma City Thunder, but on Sunday, Donovan and the rest of his family thanked the program he called home for 19 seasons with a full-page advertisement in The Gainesville Sun.
It takes skill to be real and time to heal, which is exactly what Florida Gators redshirt junior guard/forward DeVon Walker has spent the last 10 months concentrating on while rehabilitating from a torn ACL suffered during a pick-up game in the 2014-15 offseason.
For a Florida basketball team that is undergoing a major shirt, not only at the top with a new head coach in Michael White but with two of its top guards leaving the program, Walker is suddenly presented with the opportunity to make a significant impact when he is finally cleared to return to the court.
And from the looks of it, Walker is prepared.
New Florida Gators head basketball coach Michael White has only been on the job a week but nevertheless managed his first signature win on Monday by ensuring 2015 four-star signee KeVaughn Allen (Little Rock, AR) will stick with his commitment and join the program ahead of next season.
Allen, a talented shooting guard rated as No. 60 in the 247Sports Composite and No. 51 overall on the ESPN 100, was Florida’s highest-ranked signee for next season but looked to be on the outs with the program after the departure of Billy Donovan.
With the 2014-15 NBA Playoffs underway, 10 of the 11 former Florida Gators basketball players in the league advanced to the postseason. The Gators were represented on nine of the 16 playoff teams with four starters and six reserves active for competition. The 10 total UF players in the postseason marked the most of any school this year.
Five have since advanced to the Conference Finals round, representing all four of the teams remaining in the field. As such, a former Gators player is guaranteed to win the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season.
OnlyGators.com breaks down how each player fared during the Conference Semifinals as well as their respective outlooks going forward.
Florida Gators head basketball coach Michael White has completed his first coaching staff, hiring longtime assistant Dusty May in what is expected to be lead role.
May, White’s associate head coach at Louisiana Tech, is no longer a candidate to replace him with the Bulldogs and has instead joined his initial Gators staff.
White said at his introductory press conference on Monday that he was leaving an assistant spot open for May, who was interviewing for the Louisiana Tech position.
Florida Gators basketball’s 2015-16 non-conference schedule is taking shape after information was released on Thursday about its opponent for the third annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. It was announced that Florida will host the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida, on Jan. 30, 2016.
Florida went head-to-head with Kansas during the first two incarnations of the challenge, going 1-1 against the Jayhawks. The Gators are 4-3 all-time against the Mountaineers with the teams not having played since the 2003-04 campaign.
Though the Florida Gators‘ 2015 signing class has been shaken by the departure of head coach Billy Donovan, it will only be split in half rather than completely lost.
Four-star forward signees Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) and Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, FL) on Wednesday reaffirmed their status as Gators signees as both players have decided not to ask for releases from their National Letters of Intent.
Going back-and-forth in the final minute on Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks eventually pulled off an 82-81 victory over the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on the back of a game-winning layup by center Al Horford.
The former Florida Gators star flew into the paint just seconds remaining, grabbed an offensive rebound and laid the ball in with less than two seconds left, turning a potential one-point loss into a one-point victory.