UF has problems, FSU has big problems


While Florida’s basketball team heads to Nashville for a Saturday game at Vanderbilt, the Gators are reeling. Billy Donovan hopes three losses in four games have hardened his team and we’ll see down the stretch.

But we also know that this season is ” at worst ” a speed bump for the basketball program. Florida has been to nine straight NCAAs, won two straight national titles and three straight SEC Tournaments. The next win will give Florida its 10th straight 20-win season.

On the other hand, I give you Florida State basketball.

FSU’s home loss to Wake Forest on Thursday night is more evidence that the school and president T. K. Wetherall made a huge mistake in giving Hamilton a two-year extension a week before hiring a new athletic director.

Hamilton has brought in some quality players ” Al Thornton comes to mind ” but he seems incapable of getting the Semis over the hump. This was supposed to be the year FSU finally made it to the Big Dance under Hamilton. Instead, it’s almost certainly going to make it six years without meaningful postseason play under the former Miami coach.

(Hey, I’ll belittle the NIT if Florida ends up there, too).

And, oh yeah, he’s on two years probation.

All sports are at FSU because of the academic cheating scandal. Give FSU credit for handling the response the right way but it’s another black mark for the basketball program.

And there is no question Hamilton’s team has had some tough breaks like the injury suffered by Isaiah Swann last week.
But FSU is 14-11, 3-7 in ACC play, 91st in RPI. It’s best big man ” Ryan Reid ” was ejected against Wake Forest for decking a Deacons’ player. The offense looks out of control at times and the defense occasionally makes Florida’s look stifling.

To paraphrase Dean Wormer in Animal House, “Underachieving, undisciplined and irrelevant is no way to go through life, Leonard.”