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Florida is the fifth best hoops program in the country? Please

Sep 25, 2013, 2:42 PM EST

Billy Donovan AP

Earlier today, the folks over at ESPN Insider put together a list of the college basketball futures.

Essentially, they ranked who they believed would be the Top 25 programs in the country over the course of the next three seasons based on five categories: Coaching, Current Talent, Recruiting, Program Power and Stability.

And, not surprisingly, the top three teams on that list were Duke, Kentucky and Kansas, with Louisville checking in at fourth.

The ranking that surprised me, however, was Florida, who checked in at fifth, over the likes of Michigan State, Arizona, Syracuse, Ohio State, Indiana and North Carolina.

I know Billy Donovan won two national titles, and I know that he’s had as much success in the NCAA tournament, relative to his team’s seeding, as just about anyone. His three straight Elite Eights speak for themselves. He wins when it matters.

But I think it’s also fair to say that Donovan has had some disappointments on the recruiting trail while also failing to maximize some of the talent that he’s landed. Kenny Boynton and Patric Young were both five-star recruits, and neither of them became much more than a good college player. The same could be said for Chandler Parsons, who is going to end up being in the NBA than he ever was in college.

It’s also fair to say that of the three- and four-star recruits he’s landed, Donovan has had more flameouts than he has had homeruns.

Donovan is a tremendous coach, considering he’s made three Elite Eights and won two SEC titles in the last three years as his program was built around Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Patric Young.

But he also missed two of the last six NCAA tournaments, with his win-loss record and overall conference finish being bolstered by the fact that Florida plays in the SEC. Having the safety cushion of all-but being guaranteed to be a top two team in a power conference year-in and year-out is a luxury few have.

Florida is a fine basketball program with a coach that will one day be in the hall of fame. But that doesn’t mean they should be ranked ahead of some of the teams that I mentioned above.

  1. shafted1 - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    That’s almost as absurd as your mention of North Carolina. A program built upon student athletes with ‘gimme grades.’ Not to mention perks allowed that are considered illegal for any other program outside the ACC.

    • kingghidora - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:03 AM

      Amen!

  2. barkleyblows - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Its ESPiN. What do you expect?

  3. ramblingalb - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    To paraphrase…Florida is 5th? That’s stupid. Why? Because I said so!

  4. tg1896 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    Shafted1 – you’re just jealous cuz UNC not only plays better hoops, we also cheat a lot better than you goobers at Moo U.

    Would you care for a little cheese with that whine?

    • kingghidora - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      The funny part is that you think cheating to win is like actually winning! You’ll always know in the back of your head that UNC never won anything fair and square. They only cheated and won. You don’t even know they are robbing you of true victory. I bet you have posters of Lance Armstrong up in your room too. Go Cheaters!

  5. kingghidora - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    You list INDIANA in there are possibly being better than Florida?????? Are you out of your mind? In the 3 seasons leading up to 2011 IU lost SIXTYSIX games!!!! They had one season with 25 losses! And you want to talk about Donovan missing the tournament a couple of times? It’s idiots like you that populate the NCAA selection committee that keep teams like Florida out. The 2 seasons Florida missed the tournament they were 25-11 and 24-12. If they were a Big Eats team they would have been a 2 seed with a record like that. It was the 2 years after they won the title. Donovan had half stepped to the NBA and came back. And he’s been in the tournament ever since. Let’s talk about how many times IU has missed in the last few years. They missed 5 out of the last 10 tournaments. And they got in with records like 19-12. Oh yes they play in the awful SEC. The same SEC that has as many titles as any conference over the past 20 years even though they get about half the bids of conferences like the Big East.

    You people make us look for new words to describe you because “goofy” just doesn’t cover it. Indiana hasn’t won a title since 1987. That’s well over 25 years ago. Florida won back to back titles starting 8 years ago. Yeah IU clearly deserves to be there more than Florida. Morons.

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