Nick Calathes: Ready to Break Out

David ArreolaSenior Analyst IJanuary 29, 2009

As Nick Calathes recorded his 10th assist of Wednesday night's game against Georgia, the crowd at the O'Connel Center began chanting: "Nick Ca-la-thes!"

Calathes had just recorded his second career triple double, and only the third in Florida history (According to FSN).

After the departure of "Them Gator Boys," Gainesville was left with virtually no-name players. All we had was Billy Donovan and were left without a map in this vast sea of big time college basketball.

Success on a national level is something that Gator basketball is very new to and many wondered if the Gators could ever win without Taurean Green, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Lee Humphrey.

To all those who were asking if we would ever taste success again, you have your answer.

Nick Calathes.

Only a sophomore, he is already forging himself a name in Gainesville. Gator fans have accepted him as the best Gator player and easily the favorite.

Surrounded by underclassmen, Calathes has risen to star production and has taken control of the court.

In recent games Calathes has raised his game to a level Gator fans were not expecting. In started in the game against N.C. State.

Calathes not only put up a career high 32 points, but he also hit the game winning shot.

He put up 25 points in the Florida win against Arkansas and 20 in the last second lost to South Carolina.

Today Calathes raised himself to the status of "Star" in Gainesville.

But his production and young age indicates that he could take that status to the national level.

Calathes controls the court and takes smart shots. He is a team player and one hell of a shooter.

The Gators will likely return to the NCAA Tournament, where they have won 12 consecutive games there, this year.

While they are not yet good enough as a team to progress this far, one thing is for sure: Calathes is a player that can take control of any game and will take the Gators as far as his talent will allow.

Nick Calathes is on the brink of becoming a household name around the nation, not just Gator Nation.