Calathes ready to bounce back after Kentucky loss
The Gators arrived back in Gainesville about 3 a.m. following Tuesday night's loss at Kentucky, and the first thing sophomore guard Nick Calathes did was head to the gym.
It was the refuge he sought after scoring a career-high 33 points, but missing three free throws at the end of the game that could have sent it into overtime.
"I was here pretty late,'' Calathes said Thursday afternoon prior to the Gators' practice to get ready for Saturday's game at Georgia.
Florida coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday's loss probably paled in comparison to the earlier loss at South Carolina, where the Gamecocks hit a layup at the buzzer to win the game. In that one, Florida led by seven with under two minutes remaining.
"This was one up for grabs for both teams until the end,'' Donovan said.
Although Florida was playing at a packed Rupp Arena, Calathes refused to use the crowd as an excuse. Aterall, he was 11-of-15 from the line in the game.
"Obviously 25,000 people yelling at you, it’s not easy,'' he said. "But no, that didn’t make a difference.
The first one felt good, then rimmed out. The second one felt real bad, I knew that was definitely off. But, I shot it the same way, I just didn’t knock it down. I’ll be ready for it the next time.''
For Calathes, the biggest challenge now is moving on. The Gators remain in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC East and there's still a lot of baskeball left to be played. And free throws to be made.
"We’ve had some games where we knocked down free throws at the end,'' he said. . . . We’ve just got to knock them down at clutch time and finish games off.''