Billy Donovan left to coach in the NBA, but it’s hard to really blame him for wanting to take an opportunity to coach an Oklahoma City Thunder team that boasts two of the best players in the world in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Florida Gators will miss the two-time National Championship-winning coach, but are in good hands headed into the 2015-16 season with Michael White at the helm.
White convinced three of Donovan’s incoming recruits to remain committed to Florida. KeVaughn Allen, Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone are all four-star recruits who could make an immediate impact for the Gators. White’s ability to keep these players was extremely impressive and should show Gators’ fans that White is more than comfortable at the forefront of one of the nation’s elite college basketball schools.
But the incoming recruits are not the only reasons to be excited for the upcoming Florida basketball season. The team’s leading scorer Dorian Finney-Smith returns, as do a plethora of elite freshmen from last season. Chris Chiozza, Brandone Francis and Devin Robinson were all five-star or four-star recruits, depending on where you look. The Gators will be young, but are one of the most potential-talent laden squads in all of college basketball.
The Gators are a year or so away from competing in the SEC with their new coach, but a trip to the NIT and a season on the edge of the bubble discussion is extremely likely for Florida. White inherits one of the best jobs in the country, and we’ll see brief glimpses of the Gators’ impending rise next season.