Here’s an interesting comment from Florida coach Billy Donovan about returning point guard Nick Calathes assuming more of a leadership role this season:
“That’s a concern right now because unfortunately Nick has been out with a pulled groin, hip flexor right now. He has not really done anything since he’s gotten back. The last six weeks of the summer he was in Greece, playing with their team. So he’s really not been an active participant really for almost 12 weeks right now with our team. Now he’s there every day. He’s trying to do everything he can to help provide leadership. But I think it’s very difficult to turn into a leader when you’re not around all of the time. And that’s going to be something he wants to work hard and he wants to try to get better at, but because he hasn’t been able to be on the floor with our guys it’s really been hard for him to sweat with those guys, talk with those guys and help. He’s trying to do the best he can from the sidelines, but I know it’s killing him because he wants to get back.”
Earlier in the press conference, Donovan went out of his way to say Calathes was his most consistent player in practice last season. But reading between the lines, it sounds as if Donovan wasn’t pleased about Calathes traveling to Greece. Calathes said later during media day that Billy D was on board, because he knew that he was going to Greece to honor his late grandfather.
We’ll see how it unfolds in the coming weeks.
Of the freshman, Donovan is pleased with the early play of guard Ray Shipman (6-5, 212 pounds): “I think Ray comes in here defensively a lot further along than most freshman. He’s very, very good. I think he’s got a good understanding of what we’re trying to … I think there’s no question he’s going to give us some size and some athleticism and there’s no question right now he’s one of our better defenders from the perimeter.”
Also, in lieu of Midnight Madness, Florida is planning a “shooting with the stars” event at the O’Connell Center a week from Friday, Oct. 24., at 5 p.m., before the start of Gator Growl. Sophomore forward Chandler Parsons is among the participants.
“Look out for me on that,” Parsons said. “We practiced the other day, me and a dazzler (member of UF’s dance team), Jai (Lucas) and a dazzler and Nick (Calathes) and a dazzler. I’ve got like the Grease dancing, like the swing dancing, that’s what I’m doing.”