NBA not on Calathes’ mind

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Despite being projected in some Web sites as a mid-to-late first round draft pick in this June’s draft, Florida freshman guard Nick Calathes said the NBA is far from his mind.

“I don’t think about that to be honest with you,” Calathes said. “I just want to finish this year out and win games and be the best team we can possibly be.”

While the reply is not a flat-out guarantee that Calathes will return for his sophomore season, it appears likely that the 6-foot-5 guard from Casselberry will want to stay to improve his stock. Calathes said he doesn’t follow NBA draft projections.

“I just shut that out,” Calathes said. “I just focus on the team and what we want to do.”

Calathes (16.0 ppg) leads the SEC in assists at 6.1 per game, more than heralded Memphis freshman point guard Derrick Rose. And while USC freshman guard O.J. Mayo is scoring 19.9 points per game, Mayo is averaging less rebounds (4.7 to Calathes’ 5.0) and assists (3.2).

So is Calathes the best freshman guard in the country?

“I feel like I am, but I have a great team to help me out,” Calathes said. “I would say my teammates have helped me become the player that I am. I think I am but that’s people’s opinion.”