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Two Billies


You have to hand it to the two Billys -- Donovan and Gillispie.

Recently, the SEC enjoyed a big week as the Florida and Kentucky coaches had reason to celebrate. In Gator Country, they reaped the rewards of winning back-to-back national championships. Donovan wields that magic in recruiting with the addition of guard Jai Lucas. His brother, John, was sensational at Oklahoma State. His father, John, was a superstar at Maryland who went on to play and coach in the NBA.

Many people thought Lucas could end up at Oklahoma State, where his brother played, or Kentucky. Instead Donovan was able to sell his Florida program big-time and Lucas is heading for Gainesville. He will team up with another McDonald's All-America, Nick Calathes to form a dynamic duo. Things will be great on the exterior for the Rowdy Reptiles as they will erupt in the O-Dome.

It was important for Florida to put together another outstanding class following the departure of last year's starting five. This new group can grow together and makes its own noise.

Kentucky beat out Florida and several others (including Duke) for the services of 6-9 Patrick Patterson out of West Virginia. Patterson will be a big-time player right out of the gate in Lexington.

Billy Gillespie has already shown his ability as a big-time recruiter. He also signed from Alex Legion, who previously withdrew his commitment to Michigan when Tommy Amaker was relieved of his duties in Ann Arbor. Legion dazzled at Oak Hill Academy.

Patterson and Legion join the likes of Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford next season in Big Blue country. You'd better believe the Kentucky fans are on cloud nine.

Let me tell you, Patterson fills a need area as the Wildcats desired someone with strength and power inside.

The SEC savored the moment as the two Billys showed once again they are master recruiters.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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