Seniors Killing Gator Hoops

Coming into the season it seemed the Gator basketball team had the ideal mix of youth and experience. Florida had three veteran seniors who had played a ton of basketball, a somewhat experienced trio of sophomore and juniors and a large freshman class.

The young players have been typically inconsistent, but show signs of being able to provide decent depth. The somewhat experienced trip of Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy has played well. But Florida's three seniors are simply not getting it done. Alex Tyus has done virtually nothing in the last two games. Vernon Macklin was a no-show against Florida State in Tallahassee. Wednesday night in Orlando Parsons and Tyus combined for two points on 1-for-14 shooting in a 57-54 loss to the UCF Knights. It was UCF's first win over the Gators in 10 tries and calls into question just what this team might really turn out to be.

Let's examine each seniors season to this point.

Chandler Parsons 10.4/5.7 ---- Parsons' game in Orlando has to go down as the worst of the senior forward's career. Parsons went 1-of-9 from the field and missed all six of his free throws. In his last three games Parsons' averages are just 5/5 and he has made just 6-of-23 FG (.261) and inexplicably 1-of-8 FT. That's a dramatic drop off from the first four games where Parsons averaged 14.5/6.3 shooting 61 percent from the field and 69 percent from the line.

Vernon Macklin 9.6/5.9 ---- Macklin is troubled by bone spurs in his knee which is contributing towards painful tendonitis. As a result he is not practicing very often and his game day performances have been spotty. The 6-10 fifth year senior scored 20 in the UCF game but reached double figures in just two of Florida's other six outings. His only double digit rebound game came against FAU (11).

Alex Tyus 7.5/5.0 ---- If things don't change in a hurry we may end up finding his face on a milk carton. Tyus scored 13 points opening day and 19 against FAU, but in his other five games his average is 2.6. In the last two Gator games Tyus has score 4 points and grabbed 8 rebounds combined. He seems to have been behind on most every play, most every loose ball and most every rebound.

It's way too early to panic on a season that still is just midway through the pre-conference portion of the campaign, but this team has issues. The key to solving that hose issues has to rest with a trio of seniors that are playing nowhere nearly as well as they did a year ago. Parsons, Tyus and Macklin combined to produce 35/19 last season and they are delivering just 26/16 so far this time around. Nine points a game is a lot to make up and so far the other Gators have not been able to.

The sooner that changes the better.


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