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Florida Basketball History

What about Florida Basketball History?

Since the turn of the millennium, the best basketball program in the Southeastern Conference has been that of the University of Florida Gators. In fact, since the year 2000, UF has won 2 national championships (2006, 2007), has appeared in 3 NCAA Final Fours (2000, 2006, 2007), has won 3 SEC Conference Tournaments (all consecutive, from 2005-2007), and has won 3 regular season SEC Conference Championships (2000, 2001, 2007).

The University of Florida basketball team's inaugural season took place in 1915. As with most SEC colleges, Florida has long been considered a “football school.” The UF basketball program first began taking strides toward national recognition in the late 80's, when the team made 3 consecutive NCAA Tournaments under Coach Norm Sloan. The first, a run that didn't end until the Sweet Sixteen, came in 1987 and featured future NBA star Vernon Maxwell.

The momentum established in the late 80's built throughout the 1990's under Head Coach Lon Kruger. The culmination of the Kruger tenure occurred in 1994, when the University of Florida Gators reached their first ever NCAA Final Four. That team, led by Andrew DeClerq and Dametri Hill, eventually lost to Duke in the NCAA national semifinal.

However, it was the arrival of Billy Donovan in 1996 that truly signaled a new era in Gator basketball. Donovan's fresh coaching style and savvy recruiting skills helped lead the Gators to the very top of the SEC within only a few years, and has led the Gators to 8 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, a streak that is currently active through 2007 and easily the longest in school history. The culmination of this success has been the 2006 and 2007 seasons, both of which ended with a National Championship, the first basketball championships in school history.

You can read more about the significance (to Florida basketball and SEC basketball as a whole) of Florida Basketball's second consecutive national championship at The SEC Is Now the Best College Basketball Conference.

As would be expected, concurrent with their surge in success in recent years, the University of Florida basketball program has also seen a recent surge in players selected in the NBA draft. In fact, in 2007, the Gator trio of Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Joakim Noah became the first threesome ever to be drafted in the first 10 picks of the same NBA draft.

Other former Gators who have played in the NBA include Vernon Maxwell, Mike Miller, Jason Williams, and Neal Walk.

The University of Florida Gators are currently coached by Billy Donovan, and play their home games at the O'Donnell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

You can add your support for the Florida Gators with your own Merchandise and Apparel, Tickets, and Baseball Caps.

Florida Basketball History
Florida Basketball History
Florida Basketball History

Other Florida Gators Basketball Pages

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