A day later, Billy Donovan said his benching of Nick Calathes was educational more than as disciplinary.
Florida star was benched for the last two-plus minutes of the
Mississippi State game after taking a three-point shot early in the
shot clock, a shot that banged off the backboard.
“He has an
incredible drive to make an effort at the end of games but he has to
understand how to incorporate other people,” Donovan said Thursday.
“When you’re the best player on the team, you feel like you have to do
it. But you have to be thinking about time and score, who has the hot
hand, what’s the best situation.
“I thought it might be better for
our team for him to just sit and watch. Sometimes you can talk about it
or watch it on film. Sometimes you just have to sit and watch it.”
probably wouldn’t have pulled Calathes if the guard hadn’t done the
same thing Sunday against Tennessee. Certainly, Florida had no chance
to pull off the comeback with Calathes on the bench so there is going
to be some criticism of the Florida coach.
But you have to do what
you believe is the right thing. If this is truly a lesson learned,
Florida will benefit for the rest of this season and (maybe) next. But
it’s a tough deal for Calathes. He has to feel like he’s the only guy
on this team with any real skills or the ability to take over a game.
He’s also the point guard whose job it is to get other players involved
in the offense.
Late in games, the pressure on Calathes to score has forced him to take some bad shots.