Florida basketball, as many of us fondly remember, won back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007 on the hardwood, led by Billy Donovan and a cluster of future NBA stars.
With this achievement, each season has Gator fans cheering against the defending champ when March Madness rolls around so the Gators still sit on top as the last team to repeat.
With Arkansas taking down Kansas last night, the Gators are safe for another season.
Thanks, Eric Musselman.
Looking back at the Florida team from 2006 really makes us wish that we could see another elite basketball team in Gainesville.
The roster had six guys who ended up in the NBA, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Marreese Speights, and Chris Richard,
The team had a crazy amount of reliable guys offensively, with five players averaging double figures. Green scored 13.3, Horford and Brewer were right behind at 13.2, Joakim Noah was at 12, and Lee Humphrey was just over at 10.3.
We can’t forget about Chris Richard who was a little above six points per game, and Walter Hodge who had 5.7.
The team was crazy deep, but what people remember most is the combination of Al Horford and Joakim Noah in the frontcourt.
Noah left Gainesville and had a great NBA career, and Al has found the fountain of youth with the Boston Celtics.
But back in college, there was nobody who wanted to play against these guys. They combined for over 25 points and 17 rebounds every game, terrorizing the paint and scoring better than most guards.
Assembling and coaching this roster was an absolute masterclass by Billy Donovan, and one of the biggest reasons his name is still on the Gators’ court.
For the Gator coaches of the future, including Todd Golden, the blueprint is right there in front of them.
Maybe we’ll see back-to-back champs in Gainesville again someday.
Keep up with Florida basketball at Hail Florida Hail.