Pearl Heads Parsons Project

With a summer of sensational showings under his belt, Chandler Parsons of Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Fla., has popped up on a lot of radar screens including that of Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl who, according to sources, is pursuing the 6-foot-9, 190-pound forward with gusto.

Given his height and lack of weight, it's hard to project where Parsons might play on the next level. However, given his ability to shoot, pass the ball and the run the court he figures to valuable asset. Undoubtedly, he has opened a lot of eyes over the last couple of months and has seen his options increase dramatically as a result.

Tennessee just recently offered Parsons, but there are indications the Vols are making up ground quickly and could pull a surprise by coming away with this hardwood prize.

"I've worked long and hard this summer," Parsons told Franz Beard of Gator Country prior to last week's Nike camp. "I think that coaches are seeing that I'm versatile enough to play the two or the three and that I could grow enough to play the four. Coach (John) Brady of LSU told me that Tyrus Thomas came to LSU at 190 pounds and he grew and developed into a four."

Parsons has added about 12 pounds since his high school season concluded and continues a concerted program of strength training and nutrition designed to make him bigger and stronger. He has also been told by doctors that he could grow another inch or two which means he's in a race to fill out his frame.

Currently rated the nation's No. 18 small forward prospect and No. 86 prospect overall by Scout.com, Parsons raised his stock significantly at the Indianapolis Nike Camp, as is reflected by the number of new offers he received after returning home on Monday.

"Five offers in one day is kind of overwhelming," he said. "In some ways it's kind of confusing because I have to think about a lot more schools now."

Notre Dame, LSU, Oklahoma, Rutgers and Indiana were the five offers that poured in on Monday. He already held offers from West Virginia, Georgia, Miami, South Florida, Virginia Tech and Tennessee.

Parsons, who is a solid spot-up shooter with fine face-up skills, averaged 20 points and nine rebounds as a junior to lead Lake Howell to a 24-5 mark. He needs to add strength to become a post-up threat, but has the potential to eventually play anywhere in the front line. His ability to run the floor and finish on the break makes Parsons a perfect fit for Pearl's high-octane offense, a point Pearl has driven home in his attempt to persuade Parsons to sign on for a tour of duty on The Hill.

Although Parsons has named Arizona State and Miami early leaders, he also confessed to being overwhelmed by the range of interest and is still pondering his options. A sticking point of Parsons' recruiting process is Florida. He likes the Gators and would strongly consider making Gainesville his future home. The problem: Florida hasn't made an offer, and aren't sure how Parsons would fit into Billy Donovan's current configuration of personnel and commitments.

It's an opportunity for Bruce Pearl to run the old back door and convince Chandler Parsons: if he can't join them — beat them.


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