OB Classic extras

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Here are a few extra tidbits from Sunday’s 74-45 win over Winthrop at Sunday night’s Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise:

* Winthrop coach Randy Peale was effusive in his praise of Florida’s ability to pass the basketball and sophomore point guard Nick Calathes following the game. Peale, who has already faced North Carolina State, South Carolina and Davidson this season, rates Calathes ahead of returning All-American Stephen Curry as the best guard he’s seen this season. “We’ve played Curry and some other guards, I’d say he is the best guard I’ve seen
for us in terms of with the ball in his hands,” Peale said. “To me he’s just
absolutely tremendous. He gets everybody involved in the game. He’s the straw
that stirs the drink and he’s really, really good at it.”

* Peale, whose team lost 74-48 at North Carolina State last Nov. 25, was asked for Florida compared to the Wolfpack. Florida and N.C. State will meet this Saturday at the O’Connell Center. “Is that a trick question? I think Florida is the best team we’ve played so far this season,” Peale said. “The way they shoot the ball from the perimeter, they way they pass it, they are just so tough to defend.”

* The fact that Florida’s lineup of five freshmen were outscored 15-3 in the closing seven minutes didn’t go unnoticed by freshman UF guard Ray Shipman. “Basically, that performance there might cut some freshmen’s playing time,” Shipman said. “Not every freshman plays a lot, but when we get our chance we’ve got to
execute.”

* Though Florida coach Billy Donovan backed off in the second half, playing several reserves, UF junior Dan Werner saw Florida’s lax second-half performance as part of a consistency problem that’s plagued the Gators early this season. “It seems like we take a step forward and then we take a step back,” Werner said. “UCF we play
really well and the next game (Georgia Southern) we came back and played terrible. Even from one
half to the next, you’re trying to put back-to-back games together. That’s a
sign of maturity, so we have to work on that. It’s everyone on the team, not
certain guys, everyone has to mature and understand what we need to do.”