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It's a rare town that Donovan gives miss as recruiter; But Florida not neglected; 'Flintstones' exit right; Notebook


His recruiting trails have taken him from South Dakota to New Hampshire to tiny Shellman, Ga., in search of top-notch talent.

There are, however, a few places Florida coach Billy Donovan, one of the most tireless recruiters in college basketball, will not go to find a player.

Two of them are Los Angeles, where UCLA is, and Durham, N.C., home of Duke.

So he goes to such places as Mitchell, S.D., where he found starting forward Mike Miller.

"We try to pick guys that we feel would want to leave their geographic region or have to leave their geographic regions," Donovan said.

"But if there is a great player that would be very difficult for us to sign, we're not going to go chasing him down. I think we do a great job of recruiting in state."

Such was the case with Teddy Dupay of Fort Myers, Fla., who committed to Florida after his sophomore year in high school. Dupay started all 38 games this season, averaging nine points a game. The Gators have in-state players on their roster.

"Part of my decision to come to Florida was I wanted to play in the Final Four, coach in the Final Four and play in the NBA," Dupay said. "What better person to show me the way to do those things than Coach Donovan."

Flint farewells

Last night's game marked the end of stellar college careers for two of the "Flintstones."

Point guard Mateen Cleaves and forward Morris Peterson, both of Flint, Mich., helped lead Michigan State to back-to-back Final Four appearances.

Both considered going to the NBA last year, but the roommates decided to return for one more shot at the national title.

"It was a matter of wanting to be around the Spartan family," Peterson said. "These guys are like brothers to me."

The third member of the Flintstones, Charlie Bell, is a junior and is expected back next season.

What will Miller do?

There has been a lot of speculation about Florida forward Miller's future plans.

Miller has led the team in points this tournament, averaging 13.8 a game, along with 8.6 rebounds.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore was named first-team All-SEC by the coaches this season, and was MVP of the East Regional. More importantly, he is the primary reason why the Gators played in the title game, hitting a last-second shot against Butler in the first round that gave Florida a one-point win.

"It's really tough because, for my whole life, I've dreamed of playing in the NBA," Miller said. "It's been a goal my whole life."

Speculation was heightened when it was learned last week that agent Andy Miller had been in contact with Mike Miller by phone about 20 times.

Temporary Spartans fans

The North Carolina fans bolted back home, but there was a good amount of Wisconsin red at the RCA Dome last night.

In Michigan State, Wisconsin had a fellow Big Ten member playing.

The Badgers lost four times to the Spartans this season, including Friday's 53-41 defeat.

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