Notebook: Parsons' status still up in the air for Georgia


Published: Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 21, 2011 at 12:24 a.m.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Shortly after Florida celebrated a 68-61 win at LSU, the news was not as promising about the return of senior forward Chandler Parsons.

Parsons, who sat out Sunday’s game at LSU with a deep thigh bruise, is questionable to return for UF’s next game Thursday at home against Georgia.

“I’m concerned about that right now,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

Donovan said Parsons tried to do a workout on the court Friday, but had a difficult time moving and cutting and jumping. On Saturday, the thigh swelled up again.

“We didn’t set him back,” Donovan said. “I don’t think he’ll get set back. The only thing that will set him back is if he’s hit right there in that spot again and they’ll pad him up so that even if he did get hit there, it certainly won’t be at the level it was when he got hit the first time.

“I don’t know if he’ll play against Georgia. I don’t know that yet. I don’t have any time frame of him to be back. I do not expect him to be back (Monday) and I definitely don’t expect him to be back Tuesday (in practice).”

Donovan said he felt like Parsons’ leg was making “significant improvement” from Saturday to Friday. But since the thigh swelled up on Saturday, he’s been shut down from further activity.

“On Thursday he ran in the pool and he felt good,” Donovan said. “It was a little sore, but no problems. But once he got on the court and started to run around, that’s when he even realized it too. His intention is he wanted to play, but he couldn’t play (Sunday).”

The 6-foot-10 Parsons, who is averaging 10.8 points and 7.7 rebounds this season, sat out a game for the first time in his Florida career. Parsons also had a string of 42 straight starts snapped.

“It’s a significant injury,” Donovan said. “It’s an injury that’s going to need rest, going to need time and (we’ll need to see) how he responds to treatment.”

Prather starts

Freshman Casey Prather made his first career start in place of Parsons. In 15 minutes, Prather didn’t score, but had three rebounds, one assist and one steal.

“I think he did a pretty good job,” Donovan said. “I wasn’t really expecting him to come in there and score 15 points and grab 8 rebounds. I was really more expecting him just to play hard and play aggressive.”

Freshman Scottie Wilbekin wound up playing more minutes, finishing with 2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 30 minutes. Donovan said he felt like the start was a reward for the 6-foot-6 Prather, who has worked hard in practice despite having limited playing time.

“Casey, to his credit, has come to practice and tried to work hard every day to get better,” Donovan said. “He did a good job in there. He had a couple of mistakes like everyone on our team did but he did a good job he had good energy he did a good job defensively overall I was pleased with what he did.

Going to the press

Florida pressed throughout Sunday’s game against LSU with mixed results. The Gators gave up some easy baskets early, but wound up scoring 17 points off 12 LSU turnovers.

“I just felt like we’re a better pressing team when Casey (Prather) is out there with his athleticism and length,” Donovan said. “We wanted to try to utilize him and Will (Yeguete) and Scottie (Wilbekin). Knowing we were going to have to play those guys more minutes I thought if we can get the game going up and down it could take some pressure off those young guys on the road having to play more significant minutes.”

Florida finished with nine steals. Wilbekin and Kenny Boynton each had two steals.

“We gave up some baskets but we were able to get the game going up and down a little bit,” junior point guard Erving Walker said. “We were able to get some turnovers off it in the second half.”

Etc.

Florida snapped a three-game losing streak at the Maravich Assembly Center, winning at LSU for the first time since beating the Tigers 70-53 on Jan. 28, 2003. ... Florida won its first game in a tip-time before 1:30 p.m., improving to 5-3 in afternoon tips and 1-3 in tip times before 1:30. ... Freshman Ralston Turner, who scored a game-high 18 points for LSU, has reached double-figures in four straight games since returning from a foot injury.

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