For the third consecutive season, the Gators could have sealed an NCAA bid by winning 10 conference games but failed. Why does this keep happening? Here are our theories;
Expectations are too high: Coming into 2008, UF had made nine straight NCAA appearances, won three straight SEC Tournaments and two straight NCAA Championships. Oh and Billy Donovan came back to supposedly coach this great incoming class. We don't know if the pressure was too much to handle, but you'd think after tarnishing the program, the players would have gotten over the expectations and just played ball in 2010.
Not talented: Looking at Florida's starting five, could any of them play in the NBA? Could any of them play in the Big East? (Remember, Vernon Macklin left Georgetown because he wasn't playing.) Chandler Parsons could contribute off the bench, but none of the Gators would be a game changer like John Wall or Patrick Patterson. You need good guards and Erving Walker does not matchup with Devan Downey, Scotty Hopson or Jermaine Beal. Kenny Boynton and Ray Shipman may get there, but not with Walker standing in the way. UF also has pillow soft forwards in Dan Werner and Alex Tyus. In his defense, Werner had the same identity crisis as David Lee, in that he didn't know to bang inside or shoot the j. The difference is that Lee could be successful in both roles. Werner was never successful in either. However, Werner is impressive in taking charges.
Bad coaching: It hurts me to say this, but Donovan has to take a lot of blame for this. UF does not have a set offense or defense, so they can't have average talent and turn them into an annual contender (like Syracuse and the zone defense). Before you say, "Well, they don't have big men," or "A lot of guys left early," remember that Donovan put this team together. He knew who would jump ship and who needed to be cuddled and told sweet things in order to keep them in Gainesville (like Tyus after nearly leaving last summer). While Donovan does not seem as frustrated with the 2010 Gators as he was with the 2009 Gators (when he wouldn't let them wear UF gear or practice in the nice gym), something is missing and it has to start at the top.
All the good players left or got hurt: 2008 should have had Brewer, Green, Horford and Noah. 2009 should have had Marreese Speights, Jai Lucas and Jonathan Mitchell. 2010 should have had Nick Calathes and Kenny Kadji. With that in mind, losses happen to everyone, but UF seems especially hit hard. When you consider the talent that left, it makes the remaining Florida guys seem like the second string.
Other: Changing jerseys to the stupid alligator print with duct tape? Donovan losing recruiting battles? The O'Dome smelling like chlorine and plastic? Let us know what else could be the problem.