Talking points

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OK, so my assessment may have been a little harsh following Florida’s 88-81 escape against Georgia Southern, but to go life and death with a 3-6 team this late in the non-conference schedule is somewhat alarming. If you want some perspective, Georgia Southern lost 97-54 to Duke, which tells you how far the Gators are from becoming a Sweet 16 team.

Some other thoughts:

* Florida coach Billy Donovan was guarded in his comments about his team’s performance following the win, citing exams and playing after a one-day layoff as possible reasons for the near second-half meltdown. But Donovan was disappointment in Chandler Parsons’ comment that Georgia Southern was more passionate than Florida. “Sometimes, I wish Chandler would hold back a little bit,” Donovan said.

* North Carolina State, which visits the O’Connell Center on Jan. 3, will be without starting shooting guard Trevor Ferguson. Ferguson, North Carolina State’s top 3-point shooting threat, is out 3-6 weeks after breaking a bone in his left hand during a loss to Marquette.

* Now we can see why Donovan tried to secure a commitment from Class of 2011 point guard Austin Rivers so early. Rivers, the son of former NBA point guard and current Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, scored 46 points in leading Winter Park to a 91-87 win over Marietta, Ga., Wheeler in the third-place game at the City of Palms Tournament in Fort Myers.

* Happy holidays to everyone!!!