Parsons Needs Help on the Glass

If the Gator basketball team is going to be a factor in the SEC this season what happened Saturday in Nashville cannot continue. I'm not talking about the loss to Vanderbilt because the Gators are going to lose more SEC games.

I'm talking about the bizarre fact that junior Chandler Parsons grabbed more rebounds off the bench (9) than the entire starting frontcourt of Vernon Macklin (1), Alex Tyus (2) and Dan Werner (4) combined. Parsons accomplished that feat in 25 minutes on the floor while the starting trio played 79 minutes against the Commodores. For the season Parsons is second on the team with 97 rebounds, just one fewer than team leader Tyus.

The Gators will try to get that help on the boards beginning Tuesday night against one of the top rebounding teams in the SEC. Kentucky comes to town averaging 11 more rebounds a game than its opponents. That dominance on the glass has helped the Wildcats to a 16-0 start despite starting three freshmen most nights.

Parsons spoke with me and other media guys on Monday about the Kentucky game and the Gators' approach to it.


LV: Chandler, coming off the loss at Vandy how tough is it to turn the page and get excited about playing Kentucky?

CP: "If you're playing at Florida no matter what game you're coming off you're going to be excited about playing Kentucky. Obviously the success they are having this year (makes it) a great game to have to build something after a loss like Vanderbilt."

LV: How do you rebuild your confidence after that loss and facing one of the top teams in the country?

CP "In our conference anything can happen in any game. We'd been shooting the ball terribly going into Vanderbilt and we had our best offensive game of the year so far. Once we figure out how to put both things together defensively and offensively I think we'll be fine as long as we have a good practice (Monday)."

MG: How much have you seen (Kentucky freshman) John Wall play?

CP: "You see the hype about him and we've watched a lot of film on him and he's a great player. We're going to have to stop him, but we can't just worry about him, but he is a great player and I'm sure Coach (Donovan) will think of something."

MG: Have you ever played against a guy who could be the No. 1 overall pick in the next NBA draft?

CP: "Yeah. I my class I played against Blake Griffin and O.J. Mayo on the AAU circuit."

LV: "They are one of the best rebounding teams anywhere and you guys have had trouble giving up second chance opportunities on the defensive end. How crucial will that be in this game?

CP "It will be huge. Something like 40 percent of their offense comes from their second shots. With (Patrick) Patterson and (DeMarcus) Cousins down there they are big guys and we're going to have to compete physically. That takes no skill at all. It just takes who is going to fight harder and who is going to compete.

LV: What can you do to get Alex and Vernon to be more competitive on the glass?

CP: "They just have to understand that this is a huge game. They understand they have to compete down in there. They are really good players and we're going to get them the ball and make Kentucky guard them too."


Parsons is averaging 11.2 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. His 38 percent shooting from 3-point range is the best on the team. He's on a pace that should get him over 1,000 points and close to 500 rebounds for his career by the end of the season. One negative to his game this year has been a low assist total (28, 1.9/g) and a negative assist/turnover differential (minus-3).

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