Donovan and Frazier win gold with USA Basketball in 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship

For the second-straight summer, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has led USA Basketball to a gold medal as the United States defeated Serbia 82-68 in the finals of the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

Donovan, who is now 14-0 all-time in international competition following Sunday’s victory, also directed the under-18 team to gold in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship last summer in São Sebastião do Paraíso, Brazil.

He led the under-18 team to a 5-0 record last year and the under-19 team to a 9-0 record this summer. Donovan’s teams have defeated opponents by an average of 39.9 points per game over the 14 contests and 40.7 points per game during the nine contests in this year’s world championships alone.

“I’m very humbled and honored that USA Basketball wanted me to represent our country and coach this team. To be a part of this and be a part of a group of guys that won it [is special],” he said after the game.

The Americans, which captured their fifth under-19 title in the history of the tournament, won just their second since 1991.

Continue Reading » Donovan and Frazier win gold with USA Basketball in 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship

Tags: , , , , , ,

Frazier makes USA Basketball U19 team, joins Donovan at 2013 FIBA World Championship

Florida Gators rising sophomore guard Michael Frazier officially made the 12-man cut for the USA Basketball 2013 Men’s U19 National Team led by head coach Billy Donovan and set to compete in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship from June 27-July 7 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Though the final roster was supposed to be announced on the last day of training camp (June 19), Donovan wanted to get the decision out of the way in order to make sure the Americans had as much practice time as possible before leaving the country.

“Getting down to 12 is the real hard part because in a lot of respects we easy could have kept 14-15,” Donovan said. “There were some tough decisions, difficult decisions, but I think we feel overall that we have selected an athletic and versatile team.

“Our style of play will be an aggressive, up-tempo, running, pressing style. From an execution standpoint we’ve got to get better there, a lot of the other teams over there have been together for quite some time and that’s probably a strength of their teams, so we felt that we have to rely on some athleticism.”

He continued: “Getting [the final cuts] behind us now and going forward we can get our guys focused on being the best team. I think the focus up to this point of time by them has been ‘make the team,’ ‘make the team,’ ‘make the team,’ and we’ve got to now move it towards trying to win.”

Continue Reading » Frazier makes USA Basketball U19 team, joins Donovan at 2013 FIBA World Championship

Tags: , , , , ,

Florida clears Yeguete, Frazier, Prather for practice

Believe it or not, No. 6/8 Florida Gators basketball (22-5, 12-3 SEC) will have its full roster active and practicing together for the first time in three weeks on Thursday as the team officially announced Wednesday that trainers have cleared junior forwards Will Yeguete (knee) and Casey Prather (facial laceration) and freshman guard Michael Frazier II (concussion) to return to the court.

Yeguete, who aggravated a knee injury and left the court after a single minute of action on Feb. 5 at Arkansas, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Feb. 8 and has missed the last six games while rehabilitating. Florida, already thin in the frontcourt before Yeguete went down, is 4-3 over the last seven games while he has been sidelined.

A “dirty work” player and the squad’s best defender, Yeguete cleans up for a lot of his teammates’ shortcomings. He averaged 6.0 points and 6.3 rebounds (second-most on the team) before going down three weeks ago.

Frazier suffered a concussion at home against Arkansas on Feb. 23 and missed Tuesday’s away contest against Tennessee. UF fell 64-58 partially because it shot a low percentage and struggled mightily with UT’s length in the backcourt, two areas in which Frazier would have been of great assistance.

He is averaging 6.4 points and 3.4 boards per contest while shooting a team-high 48.9 percent from beyond the arc and team-best 95.2 percent from the charity stripe.

Knocked from Tuesday’s contest after his head began bleeding following a collision with redshirt senior G Mike Rosario, Prather skipped the bench and immediately headed to the locker room with Gators trainer Dave Werner.

Head coach Billy Donovan said after the game that he did not know whether Prather suffered his third concussion of the 2012-13 season.

In the end, it appears as if Prather’s injury was a simple facial laceration as he otherwise would not be returning to practice. He has already been out of action for 10 games this season due to two preseason concussions (five) and a high-ankle sprain (five).

Prather has been an important bench player for Florida as of late, filling in admirably for Yeguete and averaging 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 75.7 percent from the field over the last six games.

The Gators have not yet determined whether Yeguete or Frazier will be active for Saturday’s showdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide though things are obviously looking up for UF’s depth. Florida and Alabama are separated by one game in the Southeastern Conference standings with three left to play, making Saturday’s contest an important one for both teams.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

1/9: Florida vs. Georgia post-game report

No. 9/11 Florida Gators basketball (11-2, 1-0 SEC) throttled the Georgia Bulldogs (6-8, 0-1 SEC) on Wednesday night in Gainesville, FL. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media and shared some of his thoughts after the game.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 107-97 all-time against Georgia and boasts the most victories against this rival than any other team. The Gators hold a 24-8 record against the Bulldogs since Donovan took over the program and are 14-2 in that span while playing in the O’Dome.
» UF is 16-3 over the last 19 games against UGA with 11-straight wins at home.
» Florida is 12-5 in SEC openers under Donovan and 15-2 in SEC home openers.
» The Gators have now held seven of 12 opponents under 50 points.
» Florida registered a season-high 17 assists on 29 made baskets.
» The Gators scored 27 points off 19 Bulldogs turnovers.
» Florida scored more points in the second half (49) than Georgia did in the game (44).
» The Gators’ 33-point victory was the second-largest margin ever between the teams.
» Florida hit a season-high 12 three-pointers in the game.
» 3,200 UF students were in attendance, the highest total in the last seven years.

PLAYER NOTES

» Redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario continued his outstanding season with a team-high 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting (3-of-6 from downtown). He also went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe but did not record another statistic in the game aside from one steal.
» Junior forward Casey Prather stepped into the starting lineup as an injury replacement and scored the first six points of the game for his team. Prather finished with 10 points along with team-highs of seven rebounds and three steals.
» Junior center Patric Young was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor for 11 points. He also registered two assists, three rebounds and a team-high four blocks.
» Playing with a broken rib, junior F Erik Murphy hit 3-of-6 treys for 11 points.
» Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin went 2-for-4 from downtown for eight points and also chipped in a team-high six assists.
» Senior G Kenny Boynton had an off shooting night but entered the top-10 in school history in made field goals with his first basket. He also moved up to fourth in career starts (118) and fifth in minutes played (3,911).

Read what Donovan had to say and see much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » 1/9: Florida vs. Georgia post-game report

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donovan brings home gold for USA Basketball

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan won the first gold medal of his career on Wednesday as he led USA Basketball to an 81-56 victory over Brazil in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

The United States was the only team to go undefeated (5-0) on its way to taking home the gold. The Americans tore through the competition in Sao Sebastian, Brazil, winning every game by at least 19 and by an average of 38.6 points (105-42 vs. Virgin Islands, 110-59 vs. Mexico, 83-64 vs. Brazil, 107-72 vs. Argentina, 81-56 vs. Brazil).

The FIBA Americas was Donovan’s first go-around as head coach of Team USA. He was joined on the bench by Florida trainer Dave Werner as well as former Gators assistant and Virginia Commonwealth head coach Shaka Smart and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. Donovan had previously served as a court coach for team trials in 2011.

The strong showing in the tournament qualified the United States for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship next June. Donovan is not guaranteed to be the head coach of that team though he will likely be called upon again to continue leading the Americans.

Tags: , , , , ,