tampabay.com

Veteran Gators expect coach to stay

Count senior guard Lee Humphrey and junior forward Corey Brewer among those who believe Billy Donovan will remain at Florida.

By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published March 25, 2007


ST. LOUIS - Count senior guard Lee Humphrey and junior forward Corey Brewer among those who believe Billy Donovan will remain at Florida.

The coach's future has been among the hottest topics at this region since Thursday when Tubby Smith left Kentucky for Minnesota.

"I don't think Florida people have anything to worry about," Brewer said. "Why would you leave Florida, where everyone loves you, to go to Kentucky, where nothing is really good enough unless you win the national championship every year? I think his family likes it in Florida, he loves it at Florida. I don't think fans have anything to worry about."

"I would be surprised if it happens," Humphrey said.

But what if it did? How would he be received when he returned to Gainesville?

"I know if that was the case, he would need security," Humphrey said.

Though speculation persists, the players said it isn't a distraction. "We're in the NCAA Tournament, one game from the Final Four, so we're really not paying attention to any stuff like that," Brewer said.

RESPECT, RESPECT: The Ducks have seen the Gators on ESPN so many times, they almost don't need film to scout them. But Oregon is looking to make itself part of the highlight reel.

"You see Florida almost every game," guard Aaron Brooks said. "They're always on ESPN. ... To finally get to match up and see how you stack up against them will be great for us."

The Ducks contended that West Coast teams don't get as much national attention because they often play so late East Coast time. But Donovan was adamant that just because the Gators haven't seen Oregon on TV a lot (several said they hadn't seen the Ducks until the film session Saturday morning), it doesn't mean they don't respect them.

"I feel like you're trying to create that because we don't see them, there's not a level of respect," Donovan chastised a reporter. "And that's definitely not the case. ... I feel like you're trying to sit there and say we don't know anything about Oregon. We know plenty about Oregon."

CALLING THEM OUT: John Canzano, a columnist for the Portland Oregonian, is less than impressed with the Gators' performance, saying they've lost their hunger and passion. To read his thoughts about a possible upset and other Midwest Region news, go to blogs.tampabay.com/gators/.