Miller: Gators like ’02 Maryland


Arizona coach Sean Miller offered more high praise to No. 5 Florida.

Miller compared these Gators to the 2002 Maryland team that won a national title. That team, led by guards Steve Blake and Juan Dixon and sophomore big man Chris Wilcox, went 32-4 and beat Indiana in the national title game.

Miller sees a similar dynamic with Florida because of junior center Patric Young’s inside presence combined with the perimeter shooting of Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario.

“Watching them they remind me a lot of Maryland a few years back when Steve Blake and Juan Dixon and those guys were playing,” Miller said on an ESPN podcast. “They have two things that are just really difficult. One, they’re an amazing passing team, with Patric Young, their center (and others), they share the ball and they pass it so easily they’re just clever and the shots they’re able to create, I mean they are really unselfish and you can tell that Billy (Donovan) has really made that an emphasis, because as talented as their individual players are, their team is even better.

“They’ve really made that a team that’s even better on the defensive end. The reason I compare them to Maryland is they test you in all phases — you take the ball underneath your own basket and they’re trying to trap and create turnovers. Their zone is really aggressive and their man-to-man is really aggressive. You have to concentrate for 40 minutes because they’re such a good passing team that when they get out in transition its two points and sometimes three points.”

Other notes:

— Consensus top three 2013 recruit Jabari Parker will announce his decision on Dec. 20. The 6-foot-8 Parker, a Chicago native, has Florida in his final five with Duke, BYU, Michigan State and Stanford. Parker visited the UF campus from Nov. 2-4, the weekend of the Florida-Missouri football game.







  1. Kevin, did you read the ESPN blog on this year’s team and Donovan? While I agree Miller’s comments before are not as genuine as Buzz or Hamilton afterwards, there are some comments that are simply Donovan. Whether this team, 2000 or 2006 and 2007, great Donovan teams are always described as a tight unit that plays well off each other. Sometimes Donovan has received undue criticism on X’s and O’s; however, there is not doubt when Billy gets what he wants out of the players the sum of the whole is so much better than the parts. Ky always has more talent but often Billy gets more out of his. I absolutely agree that Donovan gets overlooked for how good he is at developing players. When he broke in, he was just recognized as a great recruiter. I think it is time he is recognized as one of the truly great coaches.

  2. And Florida is recognized as one of the truly elite programs. When you get back to the Final Four with 3 different teams, that is an accomplishment. This team has a way to go, but they just need to keep focusing and playing and they will be there.