Notes: League tourney to Nashville?


Bridgestone Arena in Nashville appears to be the likely future primary site for the SEC men's basketball tournament.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:22 p.m.

Although nothing is official yet, it's apparent that Nashville is going to be the “primary” site for the SEC basketball tournament.

The tournament, which is in Atlanta next season, is already scheduled for Nashville in 2015 and 2016. With no openings in Nashville in 2017 and 2018, the SEC is exploring other temporary sites for those years — Tampa, Atlanta and St. Louis.

After 2018, the tournament will be in Nashville most of the time.

Olympics in Billy's future?

Former SEC basketball coach and Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton paid quite a compliment to Florida's Billy Donovan at the SEC Spring Meetings, saying Donovan would make an excellent U.S. Olympic coach.

"Certainly I would be really, really honored,” Donovan said. “If one day that opportunity presented itself, I think that would be a great honor.”

Donovan has experience working with USA Basketball.

In February, it was announced that Donovan will be the head coach for the 2013 USA Men's U19 World Championship team in June. A year ago, he helped the U.S. U18 team win the gold medal. He also served as a court coach for the 2011 U19 World Championship team training camp.

Donovan will be coaching one of his own players with the U19 team. Sophomore guard Michael Frazier II recently accepted an invitation to try out for the team.

"I think Mike, for a freshman, had a good year for us,” Donovan said. “Having a

chance to try out against a bunch of guys his age that are high-level players in that competitive environment for a few days (will help him).”

Spurrier on targeting

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is not a fan of the new targeting rule that will lead to players being ejected from the game if the officials determine they led with their helmet or initiated helmet-to-helmet contact.

“It's a little severe right now,” Spurrier said. “Any hit to the head and the guy could be ejected and miss the next half, or if he does it in the first half, he'll miss the second half. If it's intentional or somebody really trying to hurt somebody, I can see that. But sometimes, with two guys going for the ball, you're going to have some helmet-to-helmet stuff.”

Spurrier chasing the Bear?

Between meetings, Spurrier was asked if one of his goals was to surpass Bear Bryant as the SEC's all-time winningest coach.

“Heck no,” he said. “If I was going to do that, go after those records, I would have stayed at Florida.”

He may not be after the Bear, but it does sound like Spurrier plans to remain at South Carolina for quite a few more years.

When asked about his golf game, Spurrier said, “My golf game is lousy. It may keep me coaching, it's so lousy.”

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