Parsons a Key for 2009-10 Gators

There aren't many college basketball teams where the top rebounder on the squad doesn't even start, but that's the case with the Florida Gators eight games into this season. Junior forward Chandler Parsons is grabbing 6.4 caroms a night for Coach Billy Donovan, helping the Gators to a positive rebounding different (+3.5/g) after eight contests.

Parsons is also scoring 11.1 points a night and has improved his three point shooting accuracy (.385). Parsons is playing for the first time in many years without Nick Calathes who was his high school and Gator teammate for the last six seasons.

Florida Coach Billy Donovan talked about how Parsons has improved and the fact that Parsons didn't improve this much between his freshman and sophomore seasons.


On Parsons not making this much progress last year:

"I thought Chandler coming out of his freshman year had a pretty good, solid freshman year (8.1/4.0). I don't know if he put himself in a position his sophomore year to really have the type of year he wanted to have (9.2/5.7). I don't know if he took his experiences from his freshman year and really applied it the right way to get better. I think probably this off season he has really focused on the things he needs to get better at."

On not starting him after he had 28 starts last year:

"I think like any other player he loves to start and have his name (announced), but he's kind of embraced coming off the bench and playing hard.

On whether Parsons is "liberated" from Calathes:

"I think he and Nick have a great relationship and I think there was an incredible bond with them playing together for four years in high school and playing two years in college. I wouldn't say he's liberated or he's how own man now. I think he's probably grown a lot as a player over the last two years to put himself in (this) position. Right now he clearly is maybe our best rebounder if not one of the best on our team with what he's doing. He's affecting the game in a lot of different ways. He's shooting the ball better from the free throw line and the three point line, he's rebounding the ball and he's driving it."

On Chandler having a key area for improvement:

"The only thing he's got to do a better job with, because I have a high level of respect for him in this area is he's turning the ball over way too much for me. His assist to turnover ratio should be phenomenal (it's not at 11/16) with his IQ and his intelligence."


The Gators have moved up to No. 10 in the AP Poll and will have an opportunity to enhance that stature with a game against No. 7 Syracuse in Tampa Thursday night. They will then take a break for final exams before heading to South Florida for a game with Richmond in Sunrise on Saturday, December 19.


Donovan said both Ray Shipman and Kenny Kadji would miss practice on Monday and are considered questionable for the Syracuse game.


While Donovan is disappointed in his team being just plus-three in assist/turnover differential he has to be pleased that Gator opponents are a staggering minus-55 (85/140). Similarly while the Gators are shooting just 32 percent from 3-point range, Gator opponents are a dismal 21 percent.


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