GAINESVILLE — As first games go, this one accomplished fairly well what Florida coach Billy Donovan had hoped for.
Four freshmen saw enough playing time to get their feet wet in a real game, the veterans got a chance for a final tuneup before No. 4 Ohio State comes to town Tuesday, and the No. 11 Gators prevailed with a 77-60 win over UNC Wilmington on Friday night in front of 10,573 at the O'Connell Center.
"It was good," said senior forward Chandler Parsons, who had a game-high 16 points and five rebounds. "It wasn't perfect. We have a lot of things to clean up. We had really good balance. That's going to be our whole thing this year, playing unselfish, making the extra pass.
"We'll watch the film. We'll get better. I'm sure there are a lot of things we need to correct before we play Ohio State on Tuesday."
Florida shot 49 percent from the field. And four Gators scored in double figures: Parsons, Alex Tyus (13), Erik Murphy (10) and Kenny Boynton (10).
Freshman Scottie Wilbekin had five assists and four steals in 16 minutes.
"He gave an A-plus performance," Boynton said. "I think he came with a lot of intensity. He finished around the rim. He gave good minutes on defense in the press. He just livened up the team when he got in the game."
Donovan said there is much work to be done, but so far, so good.
"With it being the first game, our guys came out and played with very good energy," Donovan said. "I think we've got to get more disciplined in what we're doing."
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]