Billy D ‘open’ to renewing Florida-Ohio State series


Florida completed another home-and-home series with Ohio State following its 81-74 loss to the No. 3 Buckeyes last Tuesday night.

But Florida coach Billy Donovan didn’t rule out the possibility of facing Ohio State again in the future.

“We’re always open to that,” Donovan said. “I think right now the commitment we’ve made and I think the (Southeastern Conference) has made in emphasizing the non-conference scheduling and how important it is, Ohio State has been a good game for us.”

Ohio State swept the most-recent two-game series, winning 93-75 last year at the O’Connell Center in the second game of the 2010-11 season. Florida finished last season 29-8, making the Elite Eight for just the fifth time in school history.

“Even though the beat us handily at our place last year, I still felt coming out of that game a lot of things for us got exposed that we had to address and get better at,” Donovan said. “And it ultimately ended up being a good game for us. Clearly we played against the best team in the country because when the NCAA Tournament started, I believe they were the number one overall seed in the entire tournament.”

Another reason the Florida-Ohio State series could continue? The strong relationship that Donovan has with Ohio State coach Thad Matta. Donovan also likes the history of the Florida-Ohio State rivalry, which included Florida beating the Buckeyes in the 2006 BCS title game in football and 2007 national title game in basketball.

“It’s been a good series,” Donovan said. “I have a lot of respect for Thad and his program and the things he does offensively and defensively and the job he does there.”











  1. Do it! Playing quality out of conference teams helps you get better. Did y’all see that arena Tuesday? Those OSU fans rock that place. As a player, you have to love an environment like that. It’s good for the program to go to places like that; and to have teams like that come to Gainesville.

  2. To sign a big name team, you generally have to give them two games at their place, one at yours. Billy won’t do that so we sign teams that will play home and home. Duke doesn’t play many home and homes except for the Big 10/ ACC challange. Ditto UNC. Ohio State will play us in Gainesville. Syracuse would play a nuetral site (Tampa) but not in Gainesville. My view is that I wouldn’t kow tow to these socalled big name schools. We have two banners in the O-Dome and shouldn’t have to beg for games.