By Kevin Brockway

Why is Florida coach Billy Donovan highly thought of in NBA circles?

To begin, look at the number of players he’s produced at the next level. The list includes 12 current NBA players. Three (Joakim Noah, Al Horford and David Lee) are All-Stars.

I asked Donovan on Thursday about his ability to develop players for success at the next level.

“There’s certain guys, that when they come in, you know, regardless of where they go, they’re going to be a first-round draft pick, they’re going to be a lottery pick,” Donovan said. “They’re just that good. It doesn’t make a difference.”

But Donovan said with other former players it came through learning the intangibles that go into winning basketball games.

“It’s been two things: 1. The amount of time we’ve spent with them. But also their basketball IQ, their intelligence and their work ethic,” Donovan said. “Chandler Parson got an opportunity and he took advantage of it right away. (Joakim) Noah got an opportunity and took advantage of it. (Al) Horford took advantage of it. (Corey) Brewer.”

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