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UF Men’s Basketball: Notes & quotes from 83-79 win over LSU

Colin Castleton (12) put the Gators on his shoulders with 15 straight points to start the second half.

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY DENVER PARLER

Notables

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  *   Colin Castleton played only two minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls, but he came out of the locker room ready to roll and scored 15 straight Florida points over the first six minutes of the second half. Castleton finished with 21 points, including 19 in the second half. It marked his second straight 20-point outing after tallying 23 at Vanderbilt earlier this week. Before this week, Castleton’s career high was 14 points.
  *   The Gators got a strong and balanced offensive performance as Tre Mann matched his career high with 19, Scottie Lewis had 17, and Anthony Duruji had a season-best 16.
  *   This game marked the fifth time in the last six meetings between Florida and LSU that the outcome was decided by five points or fewer.
  *   Florida limited LSU’s explosive offense to nearly eight points and five field goal percentage points below its season marks entering the day.

Quotable

Colin Castleton
On the start of the second half…
“I think Coach (White) just talked to us at halftime about how, obviously, we were tied 40 to 40 at the half and Coach was just kind of straight up. We didn’t really play a good half all in all. We got some defensive options, everything we needed to clean up in the second half. The second half was more aggressive… Personally, I think I just need to move on from those two push offs… I was only in the game for two minutes. I realize that so I’ll fix that.”

On the fouls…
“Yeah, definitely. At halftime, the main thing we talked about was defense. It’s all communication, really. There’re little things that you have to do that are lapses. We just really have to lock in, buy in, and take that seriously so, just those little lapses. If we fix those up, I think probably win by a little bit more and play a little better.”

On his technical…
“Yeah, that was just another mental mistake I shouldn’t have made. I just got into the game a little bit, got a little too aggressive and got a technical foul, so I shouldn’t do that again.”

On what he learned while sitting out…
“Yeah, I saw that they were really trying to take advantage of the mismatch on the post, especially with Trendon Watford. You know, he’s a big guy, a versatile player… I saw that they were really trying to exploit that, so in the second half we were just trying to help our guys out, whoever was guarding him one-on-one, try to help out a little bit more, and when he got a shot up, we made everybody box out because as everybody knows, LSU is a really aggressive team and they get a lot of offensive rebounds. Just walling up, playing good defense, and defend the rebound was a big emphasis.”

Anthony Duruji

On the mentality in the second half…
“Yeah, I mean the mentality was play to our strengths. Come out, play deep, and then, we want to look down low. Obviously, Colin (Castleton) has been scoring at a really high level, and that’s what he came out and did and kept that energy going. Really good for us.”

On the ending…
“(Trendon Watford and Cameron Thomas) are heck of players. Coach (White) said before the game that, you know, they’re going to make tough shots, they’re hard to guard. I think if we were defensively sound as a collective group, we were able to just come out with a win and that’s what we did.

On his confidence level…
“My confidence level is on one hundred, I would say. I’m trying not to think, just go out there and play my game and keep on doing that and building more confidence.”

Head Coach Mike White

On Colin Castleton’s play…
“He’s a talented guy. He’s really skilled, he’s got big, strong hands, length. We’ve gotten better at finding him and Omar (Payne) offensively in their spots. Their confidence level and skill level are both improving. Great to see [Castleton] get going, really gave us a huge spark early second half. But you said it, we’ve gotta get him some more minutes.”

On the team adapting to a different style of play…
“We’ve gotta learn how to play harder and extend this pressure that we are trying to play. Playing a little bit differently, of course. Our pressure wasn’t a big factor in tonight’s game, but with that said, we are playing really hard, but we’ve got to play disciplined defensively.”

On Scottie Lewis late in the game…
“I thought Scottie made some good decisions late in the game – playing simple. You know, jump stopping, pass faking, drawing fouls, getting to the foul line and converting.”

On Tre Mann’s bounce-back performance after the Vanderbilt game…
“He was a different guy. From a confidence level, but also from the aspect of how sound you are as opposed to being casual. When he had the basketball today, I felt better. I felt like he had more command of what we were doing.”