Team preview: Florida
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2010-11 season, exclusively on Insider
Originally Published: October 26, 2010Blue Ribbon Yearbook
- Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 335 Division I teams. To order the complete 2010-11 edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbookonline.com or call 1-877-807-4857.
(Information in this team report is as of Oct. 1.)
COACH AND PROGRAMIt probably took a 75-foot heave and swish to do it, but Florida made a return to the NCAA tournament last year. That was after a two-year absence -- which included consecutive trips to the NIT -- that followed directly on the heels of the Gators' back-to-back NCAA championships. The slide might have seemed puzzling to some, but the fact Florida lost six players to professional basketball in a three-year span explains a lot. "We got killed after 2007," coach Billy Donovan said. "Just killed [losing Corey Brewer, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Taurean Green after their junior seasons]. When that happens, it's hard. We also lost other key guys [center Mareese Speights, point guard Nick Calathes] two straight years after that. But still, we won 20 games in the three years [after the second national title] and made deep runs in the NIT. "That's not the goal, but in a lot of ways, our guys did a pretty good job with not a lot of leadership around. I don't care what kind of program you have, you take five key guys off your team, there's going to be a dip."
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