Gators With Some Well-Deserved Rest

The Gators get a week off at a crucial time. It comes after winning seven of their last eight conference games and controlling their destiny for the SEC Championship. The break will give them some time to regroup and improve, but the most important reason comes in rehabilitating injuries, most notably to senior forward Chandler Parsons.

Opening Statement: "This is the first time we've had this kind of break in a while. Last year when we had this break, we played Xavier. We have some time to focus on ourselves and get ready to play on the road against LSU. We've got some guys banged up, so it comes at a good time, but when you get in a flow of playing twice a week, that rhythm gets broken with this week off."

Q: "How exactly do you guys utilize Chandler Parsons?"

A: "Against Tennessee, he got hurt early in the game and wasn't himself. He'll be out for a little bit. We would've liked to use him more in that (distributor) role, but he was hobbled. With his size, he's got a good feel of how to play. You can put the ball in his hands and let him make decisions. He can alleviate pressure from our guards because he's such a good handler and passer. He does everything for us. We try to utilize him at the point or make our entry pass to him. He's a very versatile, well rounded player."

Q: "How does the injury for Parsons look?"

A: "He's out right now, but for how long, I don't know. I don't envision him practicing until Thursday or Friday. He's got a deep, deep thigh bruise that has started to bleed. He's on crutches. How well he responds in the next few days will determine whether he plays Sunday."

Q: "What does your practice schedule look like this week?"

A: "We'll take our time off like normal, and we took off (Sunday) and another during the week. Early in the week it's a chance to focus on ourselves. You're always working towards improving for your next game. There's not a lot of familiarity with LSU since we haven't played them this year. We'll work on ourselves some, and then later in the week focus on LSU."

Q: "How do you feel about the defensive play of Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin against some of the better guards in this league?"

A: "Kenny Boynton is a good on-ball defender. That end of the floor is important for him. He takes pride in it. Scottie has come off the bench with good feet and he's a strong kid. Those two have the ability to at least make those guys work some. They've both been able to do that for us."

Q: "Coach Calipari has said that he is worried about the NCAA Tournament and preparing for that. When you get to this point in the season, how do you balance going for a conference championship and preparing for the NCAA Tournament?"

A: "For us, we try to focus on what's in front of us right now. That's getting prepared for LSU and playing for a league championship. There are a lot of teams involved in that. Every coach has a different view on things. I think when you're dealing with these kids, when I start talking weeks down the road and don't prepare for today, I don't know if you'll be prepared later on. We've taken one game at a time in terms of what is in front of us right now."


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