Calathes, Parsons put in extra work
Published: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 11:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 11:57 p.m.
In the pre-dawn Thursday hours, shortly after Florida landed from its charter flight back from South Carolina, sophomores Nick Calathes and Chandler Parsons were back at the school practice facility, launching extra shots.
Who: No. 24 Florida at Vanderbilt
When: 1:30 p.m., Sunday
Radio: 103.7 FM, AM-850
“Extra free throws, extra shots,” Parsons said. “Whatever I could do in the gym to make sure if the opportunity comes up again, it will be a different outcome.”
Parsons admitted he didn’t get much sleep after missing the front end of a one-and-one with 3.3 seconds left in Wednesday’s 70-69 loss to the Gamecocks. The subsequent rebound from South Carolina forward Mike Holmes and three-quarters court pass from Holmes to teammate Zam Fredrick led to a Fredrick lay-in and stunning one-point loss at the buzzer.
After a brief conversation with Florida coach Billy Donovan, Parsons said he and Calathes stayed at the facility until 3 a.m.
“It’s easy to say just forget about it, but I’m never going to forget that,” Parsons said. “I’m never going to forget that situation, you’re never going to forget that feeling, walking out of the gym.
“Personally, you just try to use that as improvement to work harder. Obviously it comes down to little things. We could have controlled the outcome of the game.”
Parsons did his part to put Florida in position to win, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds. He scored Florida’s first six points and ended up with 11 of his 14 points in the first half. Parsons also hit a big 3-pointer from the left corner to give Florida a 65-60 lead with 2:56 remaining.
“You take it game by game,” Parsons said. “It’s obvious we didn’t do enough to help get the win.”
No. 24 Florida (16-3, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) will look to regroup Sunday at Vanderbilt. Donovan described Thursday’s practice as upbeat.
“Coach didn’t kill us,” freshman guard Erving Walker said. “We just went over situational things, some of the things we did wrong in the South Carolina game. I would say it was more of a learning day, trying to put things back together.”
Senior Walter Hodge provided a light moment, interviewing Walker during Friday’s media session. But Parsons said the loss Wednesday provided a reminder not to take any situation for granted. Florida had its 10-game winning streak snapped and could have started 4-0 in the SEC if not for mistakes and missed free throws down the stretch.
“I think we came together as a team (Thursday) and realized we have to be on edge and focused every second of every practice, every second of every game,” Parsons said. “Just realize when it comes down to situations like that, we need to capitalize.
Parsons said he wouldn’t shy away from another chance to win a game at the free-throw line.
“I would love another opportunity,” Parsons said. “I hope the game is on the line Sunday at Vanderbilt and I have a chance to get my team the win.”
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