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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Billy Donovan to pull a Tubby?

I’m talking about the former UK coach, not the kid on the left.

To anyone but a Kentucky fan, the headline to this article would sound a little scandalous.  To those within the BBN, though, it still raises questions, but ones of an entirely different, and less salacious, variety.

But reports that Billy Donovan, a longtime Lexington favorite, will be bringing his son (also named Billy) onto the Gators team as a walk-on this coming season.  As we’ve seen firsthand through four years of our own hoops nepotism, having your son on the team is not always a great thing.  Saul Smith had some struggles throughout his four years at UK, most notably with a career shooting average of 35.9% while averaging between 13 and 25 minutes a game.

According to the report:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Billy Donovan will have his oldest son on the bench this season — and maybe on the floor the following year.

Don’t expect the younger Donovan to be like dad, though. Donovan averaged 4.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in two years at Catholic. He averaged 5.9 points and had 49 assists as a sophomore last season.

The elder Donovan says it’s “going to be great to have Billy here, both for our team and for our family.” The coach adds that he hopes “this will be a great experience for him.”

This didn’t work out all that well for Tubby, it certainly didn’t work out well for Bruce Pearl (although the NCAA didn’t care that Steven was hanging around his dad’s barbecues all the time), but Donovan is apparently under the impression that it will work out just fine for him.

Even some posters on Gator message boards (I was curious) were a little uneasy:

tupacbiff: the more he plays the bigger the potential disaster.  This same situation essentially cost tubby the uk job and a ton of respect.

Believe it or not, this Florida fan seems completely logical.  There seems to be an inverse relationship between wins and the coach’s son’s playing time, but Billy, Sr. knows best, right?  Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Article written by Corey Nichols

39 Comments for Billy Donovan to pull a Tubby?

  1. tltaworl
    9:07 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Tubby didn’t recruit over Saul and gave him a full ride. BIG DIFFERENCE. Non Issue here.

  2. RC
    9:10 am October 10, 2012 Permalink


    Slow news day or what?

  3. barn
    9:14 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    we missed out on a couple of good guards (whose names i can’t remember now) because of the saul solution. saul could have been a backup but should never have started at UK.

  4. Yesterdays
    9:15 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    How could this possibly go wrong for Donovan? Do you know anything about basketball? Do you think this kid is actually going to play? He didn’t start for his own high school team.

  5. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    9:16 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    By “pull a Tubby”, I thought you were going to say he was quitting and then going to blame the fans for pushing him away.

  6. Bob Sugar
    9:18 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Not even close

  7. Ashamed
    9:19 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Dear Corey, The disgusting innuendo you refer to in this article, doesn’t even
    fit in with “in the most ridiculous manner possible”. Please remember that
    there are many MANY mothers, daughters, grandmothers etc. who read
    this site. We come here for UK news. Not to be repulsed by inappropriate
    behavior which is acceptable in today’s society because the world
    at large has no morals. Please remember there are women here.
    You are in mixed company and we are part of your reading audience,
    ALWAYS. Thank you.

  8. Gaddis Bomb
    9:24 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Why does Corey Nichols still post for KSR? BY FAR the worst contributor (and I have followed since Patterson/Lucas like many of you). KSR should listen to the readers regarding contributor performance.

  9. CAKE
    9:25 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Why does this site delete posts about the fight that Matt got in with Beisner? It obviously happened if you keep trying to hide mention of it. Just talk about it and then people wouldn’t care.

  10. Miller
    9:26 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Pretty stupid post considering Brad Calipari will be on the team in the next few years.

  11. TAXman
    9:27 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    We as a country have been so PC so long now that this post seriously offended someone?

  12. catzilla
    9:28 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    This is APPLES & ORANGES…This kid will only play after everything has been decided Corey. I can’t believe you would think anything different.

  13. Yab
    9:30 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    We have the opportunity to turn our football program into a winner by hiring Petrino, yet, we are being served articles about Billy Donovan’s kid? Turn up the heat.

  14. bluefan
    9:32 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    I hope Brian Long knows how lucky he is not to be at FL!

  15. Head Bussa
    9:32 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    No big deal here. Plenty of coaches bring their son onto the team. Billy is not doing this to play the kid. He’s doing this so the kid is part of the program and so they can build memories with his son that will last a lifetime. That’s what happens when you’re the coach. You can do things like this.

  16. Mack
    9:34 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    How many basketball fans does UF have and of those how many will even know that his son is on the team? A big deal for the CATS and their fans is not always a big deal for other programs.

  17. smoke and mirrors
    9:36 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Who gives a damn what little pitino donovan does? This is Ky,not Florida. Shove his kid up his ass for all I care.

  18. SteveM
    9:37 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    “Longtime Lexington favorite?” What are you talking about? BBN despises Billy Donovan for having turned down the coaching job…twice…and conspiring with Pitino to keep UK’s program in the dumpster. When you said “pull a Tubby” I thought you meant, Donovan was going to bring his second rate son on the team; start him for two years; and then refuse to recruit far better guards over him; then vow to take the program in the toilet when the fans got upset at him for having pulled this stunt. That’s what I thought you were implying. KSR writing really sucks anymore.

  19. smoke and mirrors
    9:40 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you #18, there are many leaving here that agree.

  20. Rockfield, KY
    9:42 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    He’s not gonna play. He gets a jersey bc his dad is the coach. End of story. There are probably 30 posters on here that are better than him. I bet Sam Malone would destroy him.

  21. UKBlue1!
    9:44 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with #1. Of course later on we realized Tubby actually thought Saul had talent when he recruited Michael Porter. Most of the guys he had shouldn’t have been wearing a UK uniform.

  22. 3 fan
    9:46 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    #10 is spot on. Brad Calipari will be in uniform here in a couple years and we will cheer like crazy when he gets into a game.

    Billy D is being a dad. No problem with that in any way.

  23. Al's IndiCats
    9:47 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Exactly….A kid named Gardner out of Indy’s North Central was always a UK fan as was his whole family. (Went to Arizona) I worked with his uncle and he said he wasn’t going to sit the bench while the coach’s son was playing. And who could forget what Tubbster did to Wayne Turner, thru sonny boy in and he threw the ball away twice and bricked 3 shots…..I hope Billy’s son is in the mold of Saul!

  24. louisvillelaw22
    9:49 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Biggest difference between these two: The younger Billy is a passable high school player. Saul Smith (people forget this) was an all state player in Georgia who was a legit D-1 player. Note I said “legit D-1 player” and not “Kentucky player.”

    There is no way this kid takes on an actual role for Florida. He is just not good enough. But he will get to sit on the bench same way Brad Calipari will.

  25. Seriously???
    9:54 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Dear 7,

    Yes, the writing is horrible, but if you were offended by this article then you should really get out more. I’m actually more annoyed that somebody would seriously take the time to write that comment than I am with this article.

  26. testing
    9:56 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    can I comment now?

  27. Lol
    10:00 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Get a grip people. Isn’t this what we’ve come to expect from Corey? Almost every day he writes something that pretty much everyone says they hate, but yet every day those people have to comment on his post about how crappy it is. So you’re kind of cutting your own noses off. The more comments, the better for KSR. Here’s a tip for you: most of you hate the Joker football era, so you don’t go to games out of protest. If no one shows up, they’ll fire him, right? Well how about using the same concept with Corey’s posts? Stop commenting, they will eventually stop letting him post. Duh!

  28. Lowkey
    10:04 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    I never thought Saul was that bad. Our fans booing him was really inexcusable. We UK fans come across as prime a-holes sometimes.

    A segment from an old article by Greg Doyel:

    No one can see the scarring he experienced at Kentucky, scarring that could only happen to the point guard/son of the most scrutinized coach in college basketball. He locked it away, sharing his pain only with his mother and older brother, G.G., who had played for their father at Georgia.

    “I struggled like any other 18-year-old kid would,” Saul says. “I did it mainly in the privacy of my own home. It wasn’t in my facial expressions when I was out. Even if I’m pissed off or mad, not many people would know it because I wouldn’t show it. I got emotional once or twice, but it was rare.

    “I called my mom or my brother with it. I couldn’t talk to my dad, not then. We have a great relationship, but it’s even better now that I don’t play for him. You definitely have to be careful when you approach your coach with certain things, because he might start thinking, ‘Should he be leading this team?’ I think I held it together pretty well.”

    That he did. Smith finished his Kentucky career with 110 victories, two SEC Tournament titles and one NCAA ring. He scored 730 points and had 364 assists, ninth in school history.

  29. BBN
    10:09 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    F tubby. F saul. F billy d. F billy d’s kid. F joker. F mitch.

    We have Cal now, so I could care less about tubby, billy d, or their kids. And if mitch allows joker to stay much longer, I’ll say ‘F UK football too.’ There will be no program left if joker isn’t removed SOON!

  30. Bluey
    10:27 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    This must be the kid who was born during the 94 SEC tourney when Donovan was an assistant at UK. I remember he missed one of those games because his wife was giving birth. I can remember everything when it comes to UK basketball. I’m 33 and it also makes me feel old when I see this kid all grown up.

  31. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:48 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t agree with you on Tubby. Saul Smith was a decent PG. In fact, he ranks 9th all-time for UK in assists, not bad for 13-25 minutes a game. Further, I think BBN would’ve welcomed Tubby’s other son GG (All-SEC) with open arms had he not already committed to UGA.

    Plus, it’s not like Billy plans to start the kid. I bet he doesn’t get off the bench until his senior year. Just a step to help his son become a coach one day. Move along, nothing to see here.

  32. Says me
    10:48 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Tubby’s problem was that he was completely incapable of objectively evaluating Saul’s abilities. No one would have complained too much if Saul had been a 10-15 minute a game max player. He could even have ended up a popular player if he had been used properly.

    I seriously doubt that’s going to be an issue with Donovan’s son. Somehow, I don’t see Kasey Hill having sudden asthma problems next year that mean that Billy Donovan Jr has to play 30+ minutes a game.

  33. RealCatsFan
    10:57 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    If Saul had come off the bench instead of starting, he would have been a fan favorite. I never blamed the kid – he always hustled and gave all he had – he just wasn’t an elite point guard. Still, he was WAY better than Mike Porter, another guard who was put into a difficult situation that was not his making. The blame for this one, unfortunately, falls on Tubby.

    BTW, I read somewhere that Jason Williams went to Duke instead of UK because of Saul playing for Tubby. Anyone else ever heard this?

  34. Says me
    10:59 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    31- Saul Smith put up big assist numbers because he played a ton of minutes. He played 3106 for his career. That’s around 300 more than Anthony Epps, 600 more than Roger Harden, 700 more than Sean Woods, 300 more than Cliff Hawkins, and 600 more than Travis Ford. All those guys had more assists than Saul, and none shot anywhere near as poorly.

    If UK has had a worse player accumulate 3000 career minutes, I don’t know who it would be.

  35. Han
    11:23 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Taking your son as a walkon or even a preferred walkon is fine. Even giving him a schollie for a year if you have extras. Playing him over other talent and scaring off recruits is not fine.

  36. HicksPickSix
    12:45 pm October 10, 2012 Permalink

    27 – Thanks for your input, Corey.

  37. jack cruse
    1:30 pm October 10, 2012 Permalink

    #3….Luke Ridnour and foremost, Chris Duhon

  38. john
    3:47 pm October 10, 2012 Permalink

    Billy donavan is a class act and his son a class act as well. We are lucky to have him in the sec family.

  39. oldawgblue
    6:54 pm October 10, 2012 Permalink

    tupacbiff: the more he plays the bigger the potential disaster. This same situation essentially cost tubby the uk job and a ton of respect.
    Believe it or not, this Florida fan seems completely logical.

    Tupac has many virtues. Logic is not among them.