Friday, April 6, 2007

Donovan Stays

It appears that Billy Donovan read my post the other day and decided that getting roads and arenas named for him in Gainesville was better than trying to bring back the past in Lexington. Good for him. Bad for LSU. Having Donovan in Gainesville keeps Florida strong, while having Billy Gillespie in Lexington will undoubtedly lead to at least something of a resurgence in Kentucky. It is still Kentucky, after all.

By the way, let's compare Florida's 2004 basketball recruiting class to Kentucky's 2004 recruiting class. Florida had: Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, and Taurean Green. Kentucky had Joe Crawford, Ramel Bradley, Randolph Morris, and Rajon Rondo. Kentucky's was, at the time, considered MUCH BETTER than Florida's. Of those four Kentucky signees, 3 of them were five-star. Of the four Florida signees, none of them were five-stars.

The results tell a different story. Florida's four formed the core of two national championship teams before leaving en masse after their junior years. Kentucky's four haven't made it past the Sweet 16. Rondo left after a two-year career that saw him become a chemistry-killing malcontent. Morris tried to leave after a disappointing freshman season, but went undrafted and returned to Lexington with his tail between his legs. He emerged this year as a rather good pivot, and then left again, without really taking Kentucky anywhere. Bradley has developed into a serviceable, but hardly exceptional, turnover-prone point guard without much of a shooting touch. Crawford actually briefly quit the team and then returned and has emerged as a pretty good slashing swingman, but nothing special.

That 2004 class was supposed to be one of the best in the country that year, and was supposed to form the core of the next run of dominant Kentucky teams. It didn't work out that way, and that probably cost Tubby Smith his job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read all of your posts.