A year ago, Florida's basketball team relied on a balance of inside-outside play to reach the Elite Eight. In Thursday's 114-57 exhibition win against Catholic University the Gators hit 14 of 24 shots from 3-point range ... in the first half.
The most 3-pointers Florida made in a single game last season was 11 in wins against Vanderbilt and Brigham Young. Florida finished 20 of 40 on threes Thursday night.
"With the way they've been unselfish passing the ball is really what I've seen the last three weeks of practice. … I was really more pleased with the unselfishness, 31 assists,'' UF coach Billy Donovan said.
Guess what the Gators' strength should be in the coming season?
Florida, ranked No. 8 by AP and 10th in the USA Today preseason poll, scored 70 points in the first half against the Cardinals, a Division III team that includes the son of UF coach Billy Donovan, who goes by the same name.
"The thing I was pleased about the situation, he was not overwhelmed ... I think he played really, really well. I think he's got the opportunity to have a great career there,'' the elder Donovan said of his son, who finished with a team-high 13 points.
Four Gators guards scored in double figures in the first half alone -- led by freshman McDonald's All-American recruit Bradley Beal, who had 16 in the opening 20 minutes while hitting 4-of-7 shots behind the arc.
Fellow guards Mike Rosario (13 points) and Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker (10 points each) were also in double digits at the break as the four guards scored 49 of UF's 70 points in the first half.
Boynton finished with a game-high 21 points while Bradley finished his first college contest with 20. Rosario had 18 and Walker totaled 15. Center Patrick Young had 10 points and seven rebounds while forward Erik Murphy totaled 17 points.
Beal, Rosario, Boynton (who also had 10 assists) and Young give the Gators four former McDonald All-Americans on the same squad.
The elder Donovan turned to an assistant coach and chuckled when his son hit a jump shot for Catholic.
"It was definitely special for my family and myself," the younger Donovan said. "The score wasn't where we wanted it to be at times but hopefully we'll take this back to Catholic and it will propel us to a championship."
His mother, Christine, wore a Catholic shirt. Many Florida fans rooted for the younger Donovan.
Florida led just 14-10 in the early moments, but Will Yeguete (9 points, 3 rebounds) had a dunk and made 5 of 6 free throws to lead a 23-9 run to give the Gators a comfortable cushion. Beal also had five points during the run, Kenny Boynton hit a big three and Rosario, a transfer from Rutgers who was one of the top 10 scorers in the Big East two years ago, scored his first points as a Gator with a pair of foul shots.
Rosario was also impressive on defense with some clutch steals that turned into easy UF baskets. Florida passed the 100-point total with just under eight minutes to play on a steal and layup by Walker.