Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Where does the 2014 Florida Gators basketball team rank in UF History?

As we try to compose our thoughts a week after the worst game of the season for the Florida Gators basketball team, we should keep in mind this team’s place in history. There have been five Florida teams to reach the Final Four, and this year’s team achieved that goal, something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. At least they got beat by the best. The other four squads went in 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2007. There are many people (including myself) who think the 2001 football team might have been the best ever, but they didn’t even go to the SEC title game, much less the national championship Rose Bowl game. Let’s take a look at each team and you can decide which team is the greatest in UF history.

1994

Record: 29-8 (12-4 SEC)
Championships: None
Head Coach: Lon Kruger
Finish: National Semifinals (lost to Duke 70-65)
Standout Players: G Dan Cross (15.7 ppg, 3.9 apg, .444 3-pt %), SG Craig Brown (14.8 ppg, school-record 89 3s), F Demetri “Da Meat Hook” Hill (12.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg), C Andrew DeClerq (8.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg).
Good Wins: #7 Kentucky, @ Texas, #20 Oklahoma State (neutral), #4 UConn (neutral)
Bad Losses: Florida State (neutral)
NBA Players: Andrew DeClerq, 1995 Draft, 2nd Round, pick 34, Golden State Warriors.

2000

Record: 29-8 (12-4 SEC)
Championships: SEC Regular Season
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
Finish: National Runner-up (lost to Michigan State 89-76)
Standout Players: F Mike Miller (14.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg), C Udonis Haslem (11.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, .579 FG %), F Donnell Harvey (10.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg), G Kenyan Weaks (10.0 ppg, 2.1 apg, .415 3-pt %)
Good Wins: #24 LSU, #11 Kentucky, #11 Auburn, #21 Illinois (NCAA Tournament), #1 Duke (NCAA Tournament), #14 Oklahoma State (NCAA Tournament)
Bad Losses:
None
NBA Players: 
Mike Miller, 2000 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 5, Orlando Magic. Donnell Harvey, 2000 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 22, New York Knicks. Matt Bonner, 2003 Draft, 2nd Round, Pick 45, Chicago Bulls. Udonis Haslem, 2003 Undrafted Free Agent, Miami Heat.

2006

Record: 33-6 (10-6 SEC)
Championships: SEC Tournament, NCAA Division I
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
Finish:
National Champion (beat UCLA 73-57)
Standout Players:
F/C Joakim Noah (14.2 ppg, .639 FG %, 7.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg), G Taurean Green (13.3 ppg, 4.7 apg, 1.3 spg, .886 FT %), F Corey Brewer (12.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 spg), F/C Al Horford (11.3 ppg, .608 FG %, 7.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.7 bpg, 1.0 spg), G Lee Humphrey (10.9 ppg, .459 3-pt %, school-record 113 3s)
Good Wins:
#18 Wake Forest (neutral), #16 Syracuse (neutral), Kentucky, #25 LSU, at Kentucky, #18 LSU (SEC Tournament), #23 Georgetown (NCAA Tournament), #3 Villanova (NCAA Tournament), #7 UCLA (NCAA Tournament)
Bad Losses:
at South Carolina, South Carolina
NBA Players: 
Al Horford, 2007 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 3, Atlanta Hawks. Corey Brewer, 2007 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 7, Minnesota Timberwolves. Joakim Noah, 2007 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 9, Chicago Bulls. Chris Richard, 2007 Draft, 2nd Round, Pick 41, Minnesota Timberwolves. Taurean Green, 2007 Draft, 2nd Round, Pick 52, Portland Trailblazers.

2007

Record: 35-5 (13-3 SEC)
Championships: SEC Eastern Division, SEC Regular Season, SEC Tournament, NCAA Division I
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
Finish: 
National Champion (beat Ohio State 84-75)
Standout Players: G Taurean Green (13.3 ppg, .406 3-pt %, 3.7 apg, 1.1 spg), F Corey Brewer (13.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.9 spg), F/C Al Horford (13.2 ppg, .608 FG %, 9.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.8 bpg), F/C Joakim Noah (12.0 ppg, .607 FG %, 8.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.8 bpg, 1.1 spg), G Lee Humphrey (10.3 ppg, .459 3-pt %), F Chris Richard (6.2 ppg, .690 FG%, 3.7 rpg)
Good Wins: #3 Ohio State, #24 Vanderbilt, Tennessee, @ #18 Kentucky, Kentucky, #21 Butler (NCAA Tournament), #10 Oregon (NCAA Tournament), #7 UCLA (NCAA Tournament), #1 Ohio State (NCAA Tournament)
Bad Losses: at LSU
NBA Players: Al Horford, 2007 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 3, Atlanta Hawks. Corey Brewer, 2007 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 7, Minnesota Timberwolves. Joakim Noah, 2007 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 9, Chicago Bulls. Chris Richard, 2007 Draft, 2nd Round, Pick 41, Minnesota Timberwolves. Taurean Green, 2007 Draft, 2nd Round, Pick 52, Portland Trailblazers.  Marreese Speights, 2008 Draft, 1st Round, Pick 16, Philadelphia 76ers.

2014

Record: 36-3 (18-0 SEC)
Championships: SEC Regular Season, SEC Tournament
Head Coach: Billy Donovan
Finish: National Semifinals (Lost to Connecticut 63-53)
Standout Players: F Casey Prather (13.8 ppg, .603 FG %, 5.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg), G Scottie Wilbekin (13.1 ppg, 3.6 apg, 2.4 rpg, 1.6 spg), G Michael Frazier II (12.4 ppg, .445 3-pt %, school-record 118 3s, 3.5 rpg), F/C Patric Young (11.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg), F Dorian Finney-Smith (8.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 apg)
Good Wins: #13 Kansas, #15 Memphis (neutral), Tennessee, at Tennessee, at #14 Kentucky, #25 Kentucky, Tennessee (SEC Tournament), Kentucky (SEC Tournament), #20 UCLA (NCAA Tournament)
Bad Losses: None
NBA Players: TBD

Although the 2014 team had the best regular season in Florida history and set numerous win records , they fall a little short of being the best team in Florida history, in my opinion. They were an outstanding group that worked better as a whole then individually, and that definitely contributed to their success.

The best of the bunch is the 2007 team. They had five NBA players on their team and set the previous win records. They also had the pressure of having the target on their back for the entire season and lived up to their billing. The 2007 squad also had the toughest schedule to get there as well.

The order I have of the best teams are 2007, 2006, 2014, 2000, and finally 1994. Billy Donovan has done a great job of reaching the Final Four four times and coming away with national titles in two. No matter what, Donovan is obviously the greatest coach in UF history.

What do you think? What’s your order of best teams in Florida history? Sound off in the comments, Facebook, or Twitter.

Tags: Basketball Billy Donovan Florida Gators

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