All-Access: Gators could be really special again

Originally Published: November 10, 2006
By Jay Bilas | ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Billy Donovan is smart, confident and knowledgeable. He has been around the block in the game, and he has paid his dues. Donovan was an assistant to Rick Pitino at Kentucky when I was an assistant at Duke, and we were both on the bench for that epic battle between Duke and Kentucky in the 1992 Eastern Regional Final in Philadelphia. I did not know Donovan then; I just knew of him.

Billy Donovan
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesBilly Donovan has come a long way, but hasn't changed his coaching philosophy.
I first got to know Billy Donovan the coach when he was at Marshall. I did a midnight game for ESPN between Marshall and Delaware in Huntington, W.Va., and I got to watch Donovan work up close. I knew then that he was going to be a big-time coach.

That is exactly what he is and has been for some time now.


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Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst