Billy D pleased with transfers


Florida coach Billy Donovan has had success recently on the transfer market.

Vernon Macklin transferred from Georgetown and helped lead UF to an Elite Eight before becoming an NBA second-round draft pick. Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario has scored four straight games in double-figures and is currently UF’s leader in scoring at 12.9 points per game.

Donovan knows the ups and downs transfers can through during the season that they sit.  But he’s been pleased with the attitude and work ethic of 2012 transfers Dorian Finney-Smith (6-8, forward, Virginia Tech) and Damontre Harris (6-10, center, South Carolina).

“This is kind like those dark days I call them, for transfers, where you are starting to get into the holidays, you are not playing any games, you’ve been practicing since September, lifting weights, doing all that stuff, never getting the reward of playing,” Donovan said. “There’s some slippage. Doe-Doe (Finney-Smith) has done a good job. He’s gotten better, he’s gotten stronger.”

The 6-foot-10 Harris underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in late October after suffering a shoulder injury the first weekend of practices.

“Damontre now is back, he had illness there, an infection his throat, he was on antibiotics there for a while, but he’s back now running on the treadmill, he’s out of the sling,” Donovan said. “I would say now once we get to the middle of January, we should be able to do a lot of stuff with him on the court. I don’t anticipate him being able to come back to practice any time soon and probably, we’ll probably keep him out, unless the doctor says something different, the entire year.”

Other notes:

– Florida made a strong late push, but lost out on 2013 consensus number two overall recruit Jabari Parker to Duke. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward had Florida in his final five with Duke, Michigan State, Stanford and BYU. Here’s an interesting story from on Parker’s decision-making process.

– Also on the recruiting front, 2013 center Dakari Johnson crossed Florida off his wish list. Johnson announced his final three schools — Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse — at the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Myers. The 6-foot-11 Johnson plays at Montverde Academy and had interest in UF because of high school teammate and 2013 Florida point guard signee Kasey Hill.

— Florida’s RPI is currently at 17 according to UF’s strength of schedule is 60th out of 347 Division I teams.

— Scottie Wilbekin and Kenny Boynton have been named to the Cousy Award Watch list, an award given to the nation’s top college point guard.










  1. You almost have to wonder…why are recruits crossing Florida off their list when the team is having a great year and their future is so bright? I hope they haven’t heard rumors like Donovan is leaving for the Pros or he’s a cheater or nobody follows Gator basketball. I can’t imagine where such rumors start.

  2. There does seem to be a lot of negativity lately for a team in the Top 10. Outside of a couple of SEC games (LSU and USC), there were plenty of empty seats for UF football games. In fact, UF attendance was the worst in years but there were no articles on that. While the economy is partially to blame, having every game on TV in HD is also a major factor. To change the subject, a number of NBA draft boards have Young being taken in the second round. If that’s the case, he might decide to stay for his senior year. What’s the status on the recruitment of Randle?

  3. I live just outside of Charlotte, and the Charlotte newspaper had a great article last week on the process that Jabari Parker went through in his decision. While I’m a big Gator fan, and not much of a Duke fan, I was impressed with the steps this young man took with his parents in making his choice. Not your typical “who showed the most love”, but a thoughtful evaluation of coaches, schools, and programs. We should all wish him well, and mean it. He chose wisely for him. Go Gators.