Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gators' Billy Donovan wants longer break before NCAA Tournament

Florida is expected to start the NCAA Tournament in Orlando, which begins on a Thursday. If the Gators advance to the SEC tournament on Sunday, that means a very short turnaround.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Florida is expected to start the NCAA Tournament in Orlando, which begins on a Thursday. If the Gators advance to the SEC tournament on Sunday, that means a very short turnaround.

GAINESVILLE

Billy Donovan is not going to ask his Gators to tank in the SEC tournament that begins Wednesday, and if Florida can win it all he most certainly wants that. But his longstanding concerns about the timing of conference tournaments and the start of NCAA play resurfaced this week.

Florida is expected to start the NCAA Tournament next week in Orlando, which begins on a Thursday. If the Gators advance to the SEC tournament final on Sunday, that means a very short turnaround.

"I think the one thing the NCAA has to look at is any conference that's playing their conference tournament and it goes into Sunday, those teams, in my opinion, should not play in the NCAA Tournament until Friday," he said. "Because you have to go up there and you have to have a mandatory opening practice on a Wednesday if you're playing Thursday; that's not right for those kind of teams, where you've got a team that all of sudden does a heck of a job, they get all the way to Sunday, they win a championship, maybe they miss Selection Sunday, they've got to travel back, they get back on campus on Sunday, they've got to try to recuperate after playing three straight games and they're on a plane Tuesday night going into a place, Wednesday practice, Thursday playing, that's a lot in my opinion.

"Now, it doesn't always work out that way; sometimes it does. That's the only thing I think the NCAA … sometimes they can't do anything about it. But that would be one thing I would really take a hard look at. And I think our league should look at it, too. Are we better off backing up our conference tournament and ending it on Saturday?"

Donovan has made this argument in the past, and though he has taking some criticism from the national media, he insisted it's not about backing away from the potential challenge the Gators may face.

"If we play Sunday and we've got to come back and play in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, that's the way it is," he said. "We're going to go out and whatever is in front of us, we're going to have to handle. We're not going to make excuses for anything. We're going to basically focus on what is in front of us, and what is in front of us right now is playing on Friday. That's the only thing that matters. Everything else kind of goes by the wayside.

"And after this weekend is over with, wherever we get sent to or whoever we're playing, we'll have to get ready to line up and play on that day whenever it is."

FRAZIER'S BIG WEEK: Florida G Michael Frazier turned 20 Saturday, then capped off the best week of his career by being named the co-SEC player of the week for the final week of the regular season, sharing the honor with Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes. The sophomore from Tampa made 11 3-pointers against South Carolina, an SEC and overall UF record. He scored 37 in that game, tied for the most by a Gator since Eugene "the Dunking Machine'' McDowell scored 40 on Dec. 21, 1982.

STILL THE 1: Florida remained No. 1 in the AP and USA Today Coaches poll — the final regular season polls of the season —marking the first time the Gators have ended the regular season ranked No. 1.

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Gators' Billy Donovan wants longer break before NCAA Tournament 03/10/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 10, 2014 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …