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Donovan On The Cats

Image By Phil Sandln

We may be all down on the Cats right now following the disappointing loss but there is still one person heaping some praise on Kentucky. That person is Florida coach Billy Donovan. Following the game Donovan had this to say, “I think Kentucky’s as talented as anybody in the country. They’ve got all the pieces …but there’s always a process.” while going on to say they could “beat anybody in the country on a given night”.

Donovan then went on to speak about UK’s struggles following the preseason hype, “When a group of really talented players come into college, sometimes the expectations placed on them are unfair.”. With hindsight being 20/20 we now know all the expectations were blown out of proportion but so is everything in the internet era.

What do you think of Donovan’s comments on the Cats?


Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

81 Comments for Donovan On The Cats

  1. Ares
    5:34 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Chemistry and Confidence are lacking.

    • shot
      6:40 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      freshman won 22 games. that is pretty damn good. while not the best looking wins, they did win. you can say “after so many games, they are no longer freshman”, the fact remains they are.

  2. Blue_Light_Special
    5:35 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    He is either being super generous, or he doesn’t want to devalue today’s win too much, or both.

  3. BB
    5:35 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Tell us something we didn’t already know, Billy. Doesn’t matter. They’re not fun to watch. That isn’t changing.

  4. Coach speak
    5:36 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    It’s just coach speak. Every coach tries to say good things about their opponent immediately after soundly kicking their opponent’s ass. What do you expect him to say?

    • C....A....T....S....CATS!
      7:01 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Right On Coach Speak!

      Billy Donovan is a class act, and very good coach…

      and he is speaking like a Coach who just kicked our butts, took the conference crown off our own heads, and became the first program to go 18-0 in the SEC…

      Now if he were to REALLY speak his opinions???? Hmmmm!!!!


    • Reality
      7:49 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Florida isn’t the first program to go 18-0 in the SEC. The 2012 team did it and Tubby did it in 2003. I think UK did it another time but can’t remember when.

    • Reality is wrong
      7:54 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      You are wrong. They are the first.

    • Dave
      8:17 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Kentucky went through the SEC undefeated those times-but they only played 16 SEC games. Florida is the first to win all 18 games (since they added two).

  5. Jrod
    5:37 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    He’s right. There’s no question we’re one of the most talented teams in the country. But it doesn’t matter, because we’re not a good team and we’re not going to become one in time for the tournament.

    • Sittin' Bull
      6:41 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I question it. What makes a player talented? I would think it would involve at least passing, dribbling, shooting – all of which these players are all lacking. If talent doesnt involve that then Im mistaken. Everyone, not just you Jrod, all says they are sooooo talented – I just don’t think they are by my definition. I just hope they can become talented next 2-3 years!

  6. Chaz
    5:38 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Billy Donovan. Classy in victory, classy in defeat. Go far in the tourney and bring some glory back to the SEC. Hope we do too, but UF has a better chance than UK.

    • Sheltoninarage
      6:20 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Billy is a class guy and a great coach. Too bad Pitino
      tricked us into hiring Tubby instead of Billy.

  7. SoCal Will
    5:39 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Billy is a Class Act who works hard and demands much but inwardly he has to be loving kicking our butt. Unfortunately, we are becoming who our record says we are. Just tournament filler unless Cal’s vision is magical….

  8. roundball fool
    5:41 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Billy D. is being gracious and truthful. We have not gelled, the light has not completely come on. It may not, but this is my team-our team and I will back them all the way.

    • Mac
      6:46 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Which light is that? The light that makes the Harrisons physically faster? The light that makes our team practiced at the free throw line? The light that gives us decent shooting touch? The light that gives a good ball handling? The light that gives us good floor vision? The light that gives us defensive footspeed? Because those are the “lights” that were never there, not just that didn’t “go on”.

    • Duh
      6:50 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Someone forgot to pay the electric bill.

    • roundball fool
      7:19 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Very nice Mac. A little redundant, but really well thought out.

  9. Question
    5:41 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Did Cal really say he would do what’s best for the players even if it hurt the program? If so, when did he say that?

    • Skeps
      5:49 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      He actually said that. It was a pre-game interview they aired during the game.

    • Question
      6:01 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I wonder if there’s somewhere I could watch that?

    • Answer
      6:02 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      He did but we don’t know what he was asked. If he was asked about players leaving early the remark makes sense. Cal doesn’t tell guys to stay when they should go pro.

    • bbr
      10:24 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t know how much I believe that anymore and if many of these guys go pro this year I definitely will not believe it

  10. mr obvious
    5:44 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    This Florida team is talented and a veteran squad – can you only imagine this UK team IF these guys played together for 3-4 years. What do you want – first round draft picks or a veteran team. It aint rocket science – veteran teams usually win unless you have an Anthony Davis or Carmelo Anthony.
    Just go back back and look at the last 17 NCAA champs. The 2012 team was truly unique. I doubt we will see that again in the next 20 years!

  11. Shooter
    5:54 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    OMG!!! Ya think he really likes us????

  12. The Truth
    5:54 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    I always think back to the first game against Florida. They showed individual pictures of each guy on their team from their freshman year and another one when they were seniors. Image picture they had their shirt off and it was amazing to see the transformation in each guy after gaining 20 to 30 pounds of muscle. If you took this group of freshman and added three years of maturity and 20 to 30 pounds of muscle on each guy…. We beat Florida by 20 points easily.

    • tada
      6:24 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Exactly truth. Fans want a veteran team,, but complain if these freshman are not good enough to be one and done. Crybaby fans will find away to be just that no matter what happens. Just ignore them and move on. Cal and kentucky will get the last laugh.

  13. jman3715
    5:56 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Our team just is what it is. It’s not our year. If that upsets you too much then you won’t have much fun being a fan. There are lots and lots of “not our year” type seasons. Enjoy them when they do come around.

  14. Dallas
    5:57 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    We have a good team it takes time to get a team ready and this team will take time. The season is not over I am still a die hard UK fan I’ll never give up on them. Billy D. is a class act.

  15. uk_fanaticat
    5:57 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    ‘expectations were blown out of proportion but so is everything in the internet era.’

    KSR is the #1 reason for any and all over-hyping involving any and all things UK bball and fball!

    • hmm
      7:35 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      my thoughts exactly. i didn’t expect to see that comment to close the article.

  16. schwing
    5:59 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    sure they can beat anybody on any given night. just not arkansas or florida with two chances each.

  17. K2da
    5:59 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    I just hope they put a land mine in front of Cal to make him really paranoid.
    Hope I U get in and get us first.. then Memphis…then Louisville…who am I kidding, we couldn’t make it that far in an empty gym!

  18. katdaddy
    6:02 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    This team is Horrible and probably won’t win another game. Cal has done a terrible job last two yrs. And i don’t look for change next yr.

  19. IcemanJ
    6:13 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Of course Billy is going to say that. It’s just coach speak like most are saying on here. Besides, when UK is struggling it makes himself and Florida look that much better, so I’m sure he is quite fine with UK right now.

  20. stevem
    6:19 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    I put more credibility in what Billy is saying that Cal these days.

  21. TBugg
    6:20 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    He said exactly what I knew he would. He’s a classy coach and wouldn’t speak the truth. Our team is watered down with individual players with no guidance. This is absolutely the result that I saw coming early in the season. Last season taught us nothing. This team is extremely hard to watch and every game gives me a headache. Today, I just gave in. I turned off the tube and hit the gym to move some iron. At least that way I knew someone was putting forth effort. I love my Cats but its so hard to watch this hot mess.

  22. UKBlue
    6:25 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    These kids just keep showing: they are freshmen, 18 – 19 years old, more & more of the weaknesses in their game, and why they have no business even thinking about jumping to the NBA. Yes Randle is good, but if he can’t muscle someone he literately has no offense. He has 0 outside game, he has no 10 -12 foot shot, he takes way too long to throw out of the double team, he can’t or won’t use his right hand ever, and keeps trying to go 2 – 3 on 1.

  23. mE
    6:29 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    More important question is will there be a bus trip to see us play in Dayton as the 12 seed? We lose first game in SEC tournament that is where we are headed.

  24. msnthrop
    6:34 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    This part of the quote “but there’s always a process.”, interests me the most because that’s what I think is wrong with this years team…since players have left early there is no institutional memory embodied in this team, or at least not embodied by someone who can command the immediate respect of top recruits, and without institutional memory expressed by ones peers then all signals on how to act come from the coach…the process then is simply a top down control model and that’s a not the best means for building a team that can be greater than the sums of its parts…the process must be self-reinforcing and have positive feedback loops within the peer group so the team dynamic is not dependent on orders from an authority

    • i second that
      7:40 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Very insightful comment. I think a lack of team continuity explains a lot of chemistry issues that this groups has.

    • Bobofky
      9:49 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I wish I had said that.

    • A P Noosewarh
      11:31 am March 9, 2014 Permalink

      Yes, enjoyed your comment in re team building.

      Coach BD of FLA was pointing out that the process is inclusion of years 2-4 (soph.
      , jr., sr.), which does not fit CAL’s system or business model.

  25. Oscar de la Combs
    6:35 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    We ain’t gonna lose no more. Write it down

  26. Rich
    6:37 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    well, i think we can call this team the “embarrascats”

    • wildman
      6:45 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      This team isn’t close to being as embarrassing as some of these comments on here.

  27. Harry
    6:40 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Agree 100%. The hype machine (including this site and fan base) was completely out of control and I knew it before the season every started. Thoughts of 40-0 was completely ridiculous. The only pressure decisions these kids ever made was what basketball shoes to wear and their twitter handle. We have quit letting these kids be kids too early. As I have previously said, 2012 was the exception, not the rule.

  28. scorpiocard
    6:41 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    When is somebody going to accuse me of being “jealous”? ROFLMMFAO!!!!!!!

    • Hey
      6:57 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Shouldn’t you be in the middle of the circle jerk over on card chronicle for winning a share of the conference championship in the 7th best conference in America? No? You’d rather be here? Well, that’s typical.

  29. brain
    6:51 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    He’s saying he wouldn’t want to play these guys as seniors and knows he won’t have to.

  30. Oh Yeah
    6:53 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Welcome to the new normal.

  31. Dick Pitino
    6:54 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    UK has looked unprepared almost every game the last 2 years. They have lost many games to teams with less talent. They play with little to no emotion, or heart.Cal says he likes to “keep it real” with people. I think Cal needs to change many thinks about how he has coached the last 2 years, if UK is going to be successful in the future. Every UK fan I talked to could tell this was going to be another 10 lose team, or worse, the first month of the season. UK has a lot of basketball talent, but it needs to be used a lot smarter.

  32. Yup
    6:54 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    3 good years and 2 bad, I’ll reserve judgement for Cal’s system after next year.

    • SeoulCat
      7:08 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      2 good, 3 bad.

      The postseason run under Brandon Knight and Co. sugarcoated a bad regular season in 2011 (a Final Four run that was a shot away from losing to Princeton does not erase a season of futility that ended with nine loses). Wall’s team and Davis’ team were good. The other three, not so much.

    • ridiculous
      7:51 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Seoulcat: A final four season is a bad year? You are the poster child for irrational. the arrogance of some of you idiots is mind blowing.

  33. old timer
    6:55 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    I keep reading that Willie will be a top 20 pick. He averages 5 points and 6 rebounds and has lost his starting spot to a very raw freshman. Willie has great athleticism but few developed skills. James is less ready than Goodwin was. He has great potential but is not strong enough, has defensive issues, is a terrible passer and has poor shot selection. Archie was physically stronger and better defensively. Another year to develop in college and James could go in the lottery next year. They would both learn more from Cal then in the d-league next year. I doubt the credibility of the NBA draft sites that lists them very high.

    • Pistol Pete
      7:00 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      On the flip side, most NBA GMs are idiots. Bogans was SEC player of the year and has played in the league for over 10 years and he went near the end of the second round. They continue to draft young unproven players over upperclassmen that could help them immediately.

    • Daniel Orton
      7:04 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I averaged 3 points and 2 rebounds for 6 months and was drafted in the first round.

  34. joe
    6:57 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Some people will disagree but I don’t think Cal has forgot how to coach. I look at his time with UMass and Memphis and how he took mediocre programs to a final four and Memphis to a championship game.Not room full of McDonalds’ all americans. He had a blend of good players and they were not all freshmen but veterans as well. Whoever believed that 5 freshmen would go 40 and 0 must on fairy dust.

    • SeoulCat
      7:04 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Apparently you haven’t seen our half-court offense this season. I wouldn’t exactly call that coaching. Cal had Camby at UMass and Rose at Memphis. Transcendental players like those two (throw Davis into that hat) go a long way towards playing in and winning championships. I’m not saying Cal is incapable of coaching; it’s just not happening this year.

    • ridiculous
      7:55 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Cal has eight 30 win seasons. If some of you think he cant coach , the rest of college basketball better pray he doesnt figure it out.

  35. delbert richie
    7:11 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    When Billy Donovan had all the starters on the floor with 37 seconds to go in the game and pressing full court, he became a prick as far as I’m concerned. I hope Kentucky gets to play them one more time.

  36. bige
    7:16 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    You would hope the young Cats would look at the film and notice the fundamental differences between a seasoned and erratic team.
    Even the Gators individual defensive stances were a night and day comparison.

    These Gators have played against Knight, Gilchrist, Davis, Jones, Lamb, Noel, Teague, Miller, Jorts etc. They have learned from the best and are now dishing it back.

  37. Razorback
    7:26 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Billy has to talk up the Cats and the players. After all, he’ll be taking over the team this summer after Cal leaves for the NBA.

  38. BGCat
    7:41 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    I think its sad that the biggest advocate for our coach and players are opposing coaches and some of the media and not the their fans.

    • inside info
      8:24 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I think it’s sad that even though this year and last year have been disasters there are some fans who still have their heads buried in the sand and are pretending everything’s great. Look around. The last 2 years have been absolutely no fun to watch. The players could care less about playing as a team.

    • BGCat
      10:32 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      A disaster because freshman played like normal freshman? Sounds like your the one who expects all freshman to play like grown pros all the time. Might want to check where your own head is.

  39. GymCat
    7:42 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    We could only hope Razorback. This season we should be known as the Cat-astrophe’s.

  40. Hammer
    7:58 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Is it just rumor or is it true that many “one and dunners ” rarely if ever attend class second semester, knowing they are out anyway? If true, is there possibility some of our burger boys might encounter academic eligibility issues if they stay?

    • Patrick_Wren
      8:11 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Our “Burger Boys” as you say will have no academic eligibility issues. Except for Daniel Orton all of the players at Kentucky… that again….Except for Daniel Orton all of the players at Kentucky have attended classes and maintained their eligibility! Have you not heard Coach crow about the team GPA? Time to crawl out from under your rock…..HAMMER TIME!

    • Seriously.......Lame Effort
      8:22 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Is it just a rumor or is it true you are either a UofL or IU fan?

  41. Reality
    8:01 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    Great. Playing LSU could well mean a loss in the first game. It took a miracle at Rupp to beat them after they stomped us at LSU. Lose that first game and we will be a 7 seed, maybe an 8.

    • Cats, Cats, Cats
      8:16 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      I bet you are a blast at parties.

  42. Oldcat
    8:15 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    All the pieces are not there! No quickness; no speed; no vision; no basketball IQ. Fla. point guard is not tall, not quick, can’t jump. Yet he can score at will vs. UK because he has skills, good court vision and basketball IQ.Why would you continually over-penetrate into 2 or 3 defenders and turn the ball over rather than take a 10 -15 foot open shot or 3? Our centers attempt to guard the smallest and quickest guards with hands down at the knees rather than keeping away from them and blocking shots after they shoot. Our 6’6″guards get run down by 5’8″ guys who steal from behind. Worst performance I have seen by UK at Fla. in last 56 years. They looked like blind men today. I had hoped we might get to the Sweet 16 and some NCAA experience for next year but that will not eventuate. Next year we have some quicker guys coming in and I hope they have some better skills and vision. Fla. has some weaknesses but I hope they can win it all this year. They too will have some problems with quick guards against teams that can match them inside. It will depend on who they draw and matchups in the NCAA.

  43. schmowzow
    8:47 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

    UofL in the 7th best conference? That bathtub meth fumes are starting to rot your brain. The SEC is the 7th check any sports site. AAC is far superior to SEC this year. Yep trollin.

    • Cats, Cats, Cats
      9:08 pm March 8, 2014 Permalink

      Yep. And obsessin.

  44. Jeff Schrembs
    6:05 am March 9, 2014 Permalink

    I think Donovan is an excellent coach.

    Pertaining to Cal I think Donovan despises him.

    Pertaining to UK he has some respect but was not willing to come here after being offered the job.

    HIs comments are public and I’m glad he made them but don’t count out his rationale. Do you think that is what he tells his players or really thinks?

    As long as Cal keeps sitting Lee, Willis and Hawkins – and letting one of the Harrisons and Young and WCS disappear (literally) in 90% of the games – then it’s on Cal.

    I have been a UK fan for 6 decades and the only other team I can compare this one to, as they have fallen apart the longer the season has gotten instead of being better, is last years team. Both ranked pre-season # 1s. Both entirely recruited by Cal. And, if we are being honest had UK not of beaten UL early in the season we would be heading to the NIT (possibly).

    These players are in the PRIME of their lives and they can only play all out 5 – 8 minutes a game? Leaving 35 – 32 minutes of severe underperformance? Focus on that.

  45. Ovaltine
    6:56 am March 9, 2014 Permalink

    Donovan is a class act. Hoever, he is confusing talent with potential. This team’s court awareness, passing, shooting and toughness are lacking. About what you would expect from freshmen. They are tall and should have the pyhisical skills to to become decent players. What is disappointing is their lack of speed and ball handling. JR and JY make me nervous. From a basketball skill and IQ standpoint, they are lacking. They don’t pass to the open man. JR still hasn’t figured out where the open man will be when he has 4 defenders around him. On a break, the Harrisons or JY never pass the ball when they have numbers. They keep it on the drive and hope for a foul. They still think they are in AAU or high school and they have to do it themselves. None of the freshman or sophs are good defensively. WCS can block shots but he is a step behind. The Harrisons and JY read the names on the backs of jerseys way to much and rarely contest open layups. Poy has had some great put backs and is pyhiscal but he cannot dribble or shoot and still seems lost at times on defense. WCS plays like he is 6’5″ in the post on offense. Dakari is the only skilled post player. Randle seems to play short too on the offensive end. Just a bunch of freshmen and sophs. The problem is, they need to progress and we need to hope there is a gem in the new frosh class coming in or we will be in the same place next year. WCS and Poy have not stepped up this year. Will any of this years frosh step up into a leadership role and instill that refuse to lose mentality of a Wall, Knight, MKG, Prince, Delk or Mashburn had? TIme will tell….

  46. Blahblahblah
    3:40 pm March 9, 2014 Permalink

    He’s exactly right..its obvious though. He’s a classy coach.

  47. bigcatstanding
    11:20 pm March 9, 2014 Permalink

    Billy Donovan is a class act, and in no way do I think he is just being nice. Also would like to throw this out there, does anyone else see a resemblance in the way Florida plays defense, to the way, Louisville played last year. my point is, that I don’t see them being allowed to be so aggressive, once the NCAA tournament starts. My point on that is that the SEC has been very lacking expecially the second half of the season, not calling anywhere near the calls that should be made. this game against Florida, Andrew Harrison drove the ball to the basket 19 times, only shooting two free throws. So is someone going to tell me with a straight face, that Florida is that damn good on defense not fouling him no more than one time, in all those attempts. not saying that I would trade John Calipari, for Billy Donovan. but it would have been nice to have gotten him back when we receive the alcoholic Billy instead lol.

  48. Radmankd
    10:10 am March 10, 2014 Permalink

    Donovan just being classy. Nothing more.
    We can all see the issues with our team. Nothing special is going to happen this season.
    This bunch does not grasp and understand the fundamentals of team ball, offensively or defensively.
    Coach Cal is teaching, but time has run out. At this level, you have to be reacting automatically to game situations, not thinking about and processing what to do. I question if this bunch could be contenders even if they stayed another year or two.
    I just hope the scholarships work out so we keep the ones signed for next year. We’re going to need them.