League coaches pick Donovan, Parsons for SEC honors

Florida Gators senor Chandler Parsons hugs head coach Billy Donovan during a pre-game ceremony for the seniors at the Stephen O'Connell Center on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. The Gators defeated the Crimson Tide 78-51.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 11:42 p.m.

In a season that ended with just its third outright Southeastern Conference title in school history, Florida piled up a number of individual accolades Tuesday.

Billy Donovan was named SEC coach of the year for the first time in his 15 years at Florida. And senior forward Chandler Parsons became the first player in Florida history to earn SEC player of the year honors.

The league coaches selected Donovan and Parsons based on a season in which the No. 12 Gators (24-6, 13-3 SEC) won eight of their last nine league games to clinch their first league title since 2007.

"I am extremely humbled to be named SEC Coach of the Year by my peers," Donovan said in a statement.

"This league has outstanding coaches and a number of deserving candidates to win the award ... I'm fortunate and blessed to have a great group of players, assistant coaches and staff — this honor is more a reflection of their work and effort than anything that I have done."

Parsons, meanwhile, is the first Gator to win player of the year in UF's 79-year history of playing in the SEC.

"I'm honored to be named the SEC Player of the Year," Parsons said in a statement. "It's really not something I ever spent a lot of energy on and in time I may be able to process winning the award, but right now I'm focused on staying grounded and helping our team understand what we have to do to get better every day."

Parsons bounced back from a rocky December to help lead the Gators to the league title. As Florida's point-forward, Parsons averaged 11.8 points per game in the regular season, while finishing third in the SEC in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and seventh in assists (3.6 apg). The 6-foot-10 Parsons posted five of his seven double-doubles this season in SEC play.

"Obviously this award is handed out to a single player, but I share it proudly with my teammates and coaching staff," Parsons said.

Donovan, 45, has led Florida to four SEC titles, three Final Fours and two national championships in 15 years as coach. His career winning percentage of .710 (355-145) at Florida is the second highest for an SEC coach through 500 games. Only Kentucky's Adolph Rupp (.843) has a higher winning percentage through his first 500 games.

Donovan is the first Florida coach since Lon Kruger to win SEC coach of the year. Kruger won SEC coach of the year honors in both 1992 and 1994. Kruger and Donovan are the only Florida coaches in school history to be named league coach of the year.

Parsons also was named to the All-SEC first team, while starting guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker were named to the All-SEC second team.

Walker is leading UF in scoring at 14.5 points per game and is second in assists at 3.4 apg. Boynton, who has a string of nine straight games scoring in double figures, is averaging 13.7 points per game. Boynton also is UF's best perimeter defender.

Freshman center Patric Young was named to the All-SEC freshman team. The 6-9, 245-pound Young has provided a physical presence in the paint for the Gators this season. Young finished the regular season ranked in the top five among league freshmen in rebounds (5th, 3.4), field-goal percentage (3rd, .580) and blocked shots (4th, .087).

The awards were based on votes from all 12 SEC coaches. The Associated Press will release the writers' selections next week.

First Team All-SEC

JaMychal Green, Alabama – F, 6-8, 228, Jr., Montgomery, Ala.

Chandler Parsons, Florida – F, 6-1, 218, Sr., Casselberry, Fla.

Trey Thompkins, Georgia – F, 6-10, 245, Jr., Lithonia, Ga.

Terrence Jones, Kentucky – F, 6-8, 244, Fr., Portland, Ore.

Brandon Knight, Kentucky – G, 6-3, 185, Fr., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Chris Warren, Ole Miss – G, 5-10, 168, Sr., Orlando, Fla.

Scotty Hopson, Tennessee – G, 6-7, 200, Jr., Hopkinsville, Ky.

John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – G, 6-4, 215, So., Hendersonville, Tenn.

Second Team All-SEC

Tony Mitchell, Alabama – F, 6-6, 210, So., Swainsboro, Ga.

Rotnei Clarke, Arkansas – G, 6-0, 184, Jr., Verdigris, Okla.

Kenny Boynton, Florida – G, 6-2, 183, So., Pompano Beach, Fla.

Erving Walker, Florida – G, 5-8, 171, Jr., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Travis Leslie, Georgia – G, 6-4, 205, Jr., Decatur, Ga.

Dee Bost, Mississippi State – G, 6-2, 176, Jr., Concord, N.C.

Tobias Harris, Tennessee – F, 6-8, 226, Fr., Dix Hills, N.Y.

Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt – C, 6-11, 255, R-Jr., Benin City, Nigeria

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, 225, Jr., Norrkoping, Sweden

SEC All-Freshman Team

Trevor Releford, Alabama – G, 6-1, 180, Fr., Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Patric Young, Florida – F/C, 6-9, 245, Fr., Jacksonville, Fla.

Terrence Jones, Kentucky – F, 6-8, 244, Fr., Portland, Ore.

Brandon Knight, Kentucky – G, 6-3, 185, Fr., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Doron Lamb, Kentucky – G, 6-4, 195, Fr., Queens, N.Y.

Ralston Turner, LSU – G, 6-6, 193, Fr., Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Bruce Ellington, South Carolina – G, 5-9, 194, Fr. Moncks Corner, S.C.

Tobias Harris, Tennessee – F, 6-8, 226, Fr., Dix Hills, N.Y.

SEC All-Defensive Team

Delvon Johnson, Arkansas – F, 6-9, 220, Sr., Chicago, Ill.

DeAndre Liggins, Kentucky – G, 6-6, 210, Jr., Chicago, Ill.

Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss – F, 6-8, 233, So., Memphis, Tenn.

Sam Muldrow, South Carolina – F/C, 6-9, 222, Sr., Florence, S.C.

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, 225, Jr., Norrkoping, Sweden

SEC Coach of the Year: Billy Donovan, Florida

SEC Player of the Year: Chandler Parsons, Florida

SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Riley Benock, Mississippi State

SEC Freshman of the Year: Terrence Jones, Kentucky

SEC Sixth-Man of the Year: Brian Williams, Tennessee

SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Muldrow, South Carolina

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