Werner or Parsons?


Junior forward Chandler Parsons has thrived as Florida’s sixth-man this season.

But with senior forward Dan Werner’s continued offensive struggles, would UF coach Billy Donovan consider replacing Werner with Parsons in the starting lineup?

I broached the subject with Donovan last week.

“On those situations, with two upperclassmen, I would have a tendency to talk to those guys about that,” Donovan said. “Chandler comes into the game pretty quickly. It’s not that big of a factor for me, the last two games the guy has come into the game with 17:44 on the clock and a lot of times it’s for Erving (Walker) because Erving I think early in games can get a little more fatigued and tired and has got to get his second wind.”

Werner has been in a prolonged shooting slump, making just two of his 2 of his last 23 from 3-point range. Werner was the target of ire from the Rowdy Reptiles after going 0-for-4 from 3-point range at the O’Connell Center against Kentucky.

Werner is a better defender than Parsons. But Werner’s lack of lateral quickness was exposed Tuesday night by Kentucky’s dribble-drive offensive attack.

Parsons is a better rebounder than Werner, averaging more rebounds (6.2 to 4.6) in as many minutes (27.3 to 27.6). Parsons also leads UF in 3-point shooting percentage at 36.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Because both Parsons and Werner play the same amount of minutes, a starting lineup change between the two may not make a big impact anyway. In fact, it could hurt Florida because Parsons has embraced the role as UF’s energy guy.

But Donovan hasn’t been afraid in his tenure to bench a senior player. In 2003, Donovan benched struggling senior guard Brett Nelson after Nelson lost his shooting touch. Freshman guard Anthony Roberson replaced Nelson and helped spark the Gators to a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Your thoughts … ?


  1. The sad truth is that neither would have started for most of Billy D’s teams during his tenure.

    I like Werner’s attitude better, and think Donovan appreciates his willingness to do the dirty work that our team has otherwise lacked, especially the last 2 years. Give the nod to the senior!

  2. Dan Werner is and continues to be one of the worst players I have ever seen play for the Gators year in and year out. He gets worse each game and makes us play a 4-5 game which simply is not going to get it done against any worthwhile team. Does not contribute positively to any phase of the game, and his leadership is non existent. What is Billy thinking?! Put in Maclanahan or just anyone but THUNDER DAN!

  3. My thoughts….Parsons is better than Dan. Everyone has been a major critic of Dan, but I tend to support him seeing as he has been out of position for the last two years and actually has done a decent job defensively including boxing out (and not getting rebounds to show for it unfortunately…others reap the benefits), but lets be honest…the guy is lacking in the athletic department and his once crafty passing skills are now resulting in TO after TO for some reason. Dan has given a lot of energy to this program in these down years and he deserves minutes, but Parsons has come into his own this year and is clearly a more valuable asset lately. If I am coaching, I am starting Parsons at 3. With that said, if anyone else on the team had the huevos of Walker, then we would have a W after last night.

  4. Something needs to be done with Werner. Either start Parsons or Shipmen. Werner has no athletic ability. Werners’ only strength is shooting and right now he can’t throw the ball into the ocean. I would like to see Shipmen get more playing time to give the Gators more athletic players on the court so they can press. Donovan can still bring Parson off the bench for a spark and keep Werner off the court for a longer period of time.

  5. Werner has been in a prolonged shooting slump his entire career. I used to say that I’d rather have Tyus shooting 3’s, because he always nails the mid-range jumpers. And against UK he proved me right. I’ve never even seen him attempt a 3 before and he nails two!

    I also think Donovan is making a mistake by not playing Tishman. He’s played about 10 minutes this year, and when he’s gotten in he looks good. He doesn’t turn over the ball, and he makes assists. I don’t care if he’s horrible on defense, with as much problems our team has on offense sometimes, we could use him to spark our team.

  6. Well somebody finally has said it. Werner is the weak link on this team. I can’t wait for him to be gone. I think he has been holding this and previous years teams back. He’s just good enough in practice maybe to crack the starting line-up, but in the game he gets tentative, lacks hustle and makes an incredible amount of mistakes. He was absolutely lost against KY. They were driving to the hoop and he just stood and watched! No risk of fouling out, and no chance to send Patterson or others to the line and see if they can make foul shots. Patterson is a 50% FT shooter!! Come on! I guess you have to blame Donovan for this, but for a senior he sure should be better than he is.

  7. I have watched and played all forms of basketball all of my life and cannot understand why Werner even plays, he is a terrible defender ( I believe Parsons is much better) and tentative even to take a shot from the foul circle. Other coaches play their best players. I believe if Walsh and Roberson had not left early we would NEVER have put together our championship teams. Billy the kid is n average at best coach. My mother could out rebound Macklin, I have never seen such a weak 6″10″ ,240 pound man. Who is teaching our guys to rebound? He should be fired quickly!! I agree play Tishman..he can shoot the ball

  8. I used to be a Dan Werner supporter, because he did all of the “little” things. But the guy just doesn’t add much to the table. He’s not a good long-range shooter, doesn’t have the quickness to be able to attack the basket (and finish), and he consistently forgets to box out on defense, leading to a ton of 2nd chance points. He’s not the only one in the last category by any stretch, but with Kadji out we have no other choices than Tyus, Macklin and Murphy down low. Werner seems to put up big numbers against the Troys and UNFs of the world, but he usually shoots poorly against ranked teams. Time to cut the cord. Florida has to win at least 9, or maybe 10 SEC regular season games to have a realistic shot at the NCAAs, the time is NOW to try something new.

  9. I think the mix of minutes rather than 50/50 should be 60/40 Parsons. He has more upside, his continued development would be enhanced by more playing time. Werner is redlining his ability, there is no more room for improvement.

    I think Werner needs to assume a bench role for a big man. Starters feel like it is their role to help score first, then dirty work second. Werner needs to be a bench player who comes in to rebound, set picks, dive for loose balls, use up all of his fouls, and give the forwards a blow.

    Also, Nelson’s shot was gone so long that season, he was reduced to being a shell of himself, a caricature if you will. Donovan went entirely too long with Nelson before he put in Roberson. Nelson would have benefited by the switch much earlier. The longer he played at that poor level, the more pressure mounted and pressure is not what he needed to find his stroke. Getting booed and increased pressure is not what Werner needs. Donovan is doing Werner and the team a disservice by starting him and playing him equal minutes to Parsons.

  10. As Grady K notes, Dan would not be starting on most of SEC teams. This is more of an indictment of recruiting post National Championships than anything. The major debate is why we haven’t recruited better these past few years (1. Billy blowing the effects of the NC by flirting with the Magic; 2)the loss of 2 incredible recruiters, Anthony Grant and John Pelphry; etc.. So…we gotta play with what we got. And Billy sure knows a heck of alot more about his personnel than me, and I doubt if he reads Kevin’s blog comments to see who to start, so I will let him decide. Personally, I like Chandler coming off the bench (as, apparently, do the Gator coaching staff.). Let’s let the season play out before we get too excited. It’s early in conference play, and losing to Vandy at the Wierd Gym, and possibly to one the best teams in the country is not so bad. Let’s beat LSU and get back on track!

  11. Goog God almighty. Both Werner and Parsons are not Div 1 material. Both move like they have lead sneakers. Shipman should start just based on athletisism. If I recall Parsons was a 5* recruit. He has gotten a little better since he got here, but right now if he were a HS senior he would be a 3*. He and Werner are perfect examples of the recruiting blunders we have made.

  12. The reason Dan needs to be on the court is because he is the only one out there who knows what he and every one else is supposed to be doing. He can see plays develop and is usually in the right place at the right time even if he doesn’t always get the job done. If he wasn’t out there directing traffic for the other guys this team would be even worse. No matter how good you are (Tyus, Shipman, I mean you) you can’t make the play if you aren’t in position. Chandler is coming along nicely and is starting to show some court smarts. He plays hard and doesn’t have position or playing time issues. If he gets the start, that’s fine with me, but to say that Werner hurts the team when is he is on the court is just wrong.

  13. I was at the NC State Vs UF game. Werner is the reason the NC State was able to send the game into OT. He missed the last 2 shots UF had, one being an inside layup and then failed to box out a POINT Guard who had the last second put back. At times it was clearly evident NC State would not guard Werner, eventually someone would come out and challenge him but for the most part the game was 4 against 5.
    He stabs at the ball, he is flat footed, he hasn’t had a good game in “I don’t know how long” and honestly I see no defensive value in Werner. I’ve seen many of BB games and enjoy traveling but watching him play is one the most painful sites and I will not spend money to watch that kind of Basketball.

  14. Billy’s inability to recruit effectively …especially bigs since 2006 has been shocking. How can he of sound mind feel his team has any chance of being anything beyond a .500 team ? If anything…a trip to Urban’s locker room would yield some interior size to make an impact inside.

    Every one of his assistants should go and stay on the recruiting trail train 24/7 until help arrives. Seriously, imagine Calipari coaching this team ! Go get some players !

  15. I agree with all the points made about the players and tbis team. I don’t think that this team is as good as Donovan’s first two teams and they were not good record wise but those teams did play with heart. Remember Eddie Shannon, Kenyon Weaks, Greg Stolt, Erron Kinney, remember those guys. This team lacks both heart and skill. I don’t think any of these players would be starters on any top 10 team. I think Coach has been too gun shy about recruiting top players because most of them are one and done or even two and done and so he’s recruiting kids that are 2 and 3 star players and that’s good if you’ve got one or two 4 or 5 star kids that can simply play. This team is slow, non athletic, can’t rebound, can’t play strong half court defense and worst of all they can’t shoot the basketball. Defense and rebounding is as much about desire and attitude as it is about size and strength and the front court players on this team lacks those attributes. Remember Brent Wright, Donnell Harvey, Udonis Haslem, those were 6’9, 6’8 and 6’7 guys that lacked height but had mental toughness and a willingness to get dirty. Imagine if this gator team had players that had the attitude and the physical skills to rebound, play defense and score, remember the 2000, 2006, 2007 teams, the Horfords, Noahs, Richardsons, Brewers and etc. Well maybe in the near future we’ll get back to competing for championships but for now this is what it is and unless they all have a hot shooting night in the same game this team which on paper looks better than last year’s team won’t win the nine sec games last year’s team did.

  16. I think this team is your typical Billy Donovan team. I think Billy still has major issues with X’s and O’s and his teams don’t play “smart” basketball a majortiy of the time. We are undersized and typically “outhustled” by others.

    WE shoot way too many 3 point shots but this again is typical for his teams because we lack the bigs in the paint. Even the National Championship Teams could have been dominant, yet weren’t due to long strethes of sloppy and uninspired play.

    Billy needs to recruit better and come to the realization that top players in college rarely last 4 years. In hindsight, the two national titles may have hindered our ultimate growth.

  17. I have been pulling for Werner to blossom– even into a hustle guy like DeClerq– but he may be playing at his best right now. He is an average SEC player, fairly tough and willing to work… but he seems to make a lot of mistakes. Maybe he gets flustered, or too fired up, or just confused. We need more consistent production in that slot, but is Parsons THE ANSWER? Not yet. Parsons continues to improve and will earn more minutes, but this is an unfair comparison. We need more (and better) players, both for depth and development. Don’t say we can’t hang with the Top 10 (Mich. State, and KY for 43 minutes) but if we want to return to greatness, we need better choices than Werner vs. Parsons. Learn to be patient.

  18. PS– “2 National Titles may have hindered our long-term growth.” ??? You have got to be kidding. What’s the point of long-term growth if not to go deep into the NCAA’s and maybe win the big one? Donovan’s tenure won’t last forever, but his success should’ve earned him a little slack from the fans– and a lot more respect. We lost the whole f—ing team except Hodge. That takes time to recover from, especially when you lose all of your team leadership and have to start rebuilding your winning tradition.

  19. Dan Werner should be on the bench. Thank God that this is the last year he’ll be wearing a UF uniform. My #1 complaint against him is that he is making the same mistakes now that he was making two years ago. There’s absolutely no excuse for failing to learn from mistakes and not correcting one’s play on the court. On top of that, he doesn’t hustle. I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what Donovan sees in the guy and why he keeps playing Werner. I just don’t get it.

  20. Warner was a scorer in High School and his shooting was one the major pluses for Billy bringing him to Florida. He seems to have lost his touch and/or confidence in his shoot. Practice no matter how intense is still not the same as a live game. If the bench helps Warner to relax and eventually hit shoots in the rhythem of the game, then sit him down to ponder it all. Parsons has earned the starting role and the Gators now may be better off if he gets more minutes and Warner to get fewer minutes. Difficult decision either way inasmuch as we, due to injuries, are short handed once again. At least this team is improved defensively over last year which gives it a better shot at the Big Dance.

  21. Most people that are commenting are just looking at right now. I agree something needs to be done, but believe it or not Dan is an awesome shooter who has somehow lost his confidence and now is more apt to pass then take the shot. He knows the offense better than anyone. The comments about athleticism are a joke. One of the least athletic players in the last 10 years for Donovan was Matt Bonner and now he is a steady guy in the NBA. The key is Dan is the Team Captain. Donovan needs to get him shooting alot more to break this slump, whether that means he comes off the bench or not is up to Donovan. Also note he can handle the ball pretty well to. Chandler is the spark that we need off the bench. I just wish we still had Adam available to shoot shots also. The key to winning is the fast break. When we played good defense, GOT THE REBOUNDS, we got easy fast break points(against Kentucky).

  22. I think (and I’m not as intelligent as Billy D in this matter) that Parsons has been pretty effective as the 6th man, all though tentative to shoot the 3 at times, therefore, I would leave him in that role. However, Dan needs to ride the pine a lot more! Shipman may not be great, and not know the offense that well, but our offense is terrible anyway. Let him play. He is more athletic and can help with the press more, and actually beat a player off the dribble on occasion, and finish a fast break. I agree with someone else on here that it wouldn’t hurt to see how Tishman played in an SEC game for a few minutes. Boynton has been great at not turning the ball over as a true freshman playing out of position at times, but he isn’t really creating for others. That is something Tishman is capable of doing. Let’s see what he has 🙂

  23. This is not a good BB team. No chance for big dance. Small chance even for small dance. Be glad to see Werner gone next year. Billy lost the entire team after o6 season and lost confidence of new recuits after his thing with the Majic. Walker plays with heart. Boynton is getting there. Why not play Tishman. Let him learn. This season is in the tubes. Hope to get some better players next season. By the way at least 3 of those KY players were heavily sought after by Billy, but sain no and went to KY.

  24. Wow, this team started out the season with so much promise after a couple of big wins. They seemed to have devolved! I say make some changes. What have we got to lose besides the game and we’ll probably lose if we don’t.

  25. Werner is not a natural enforcer. He has done his best to be the physical presence the Gators need and his stats have suffered. The team needs him to continue to play the same role as a starter. A natural shooter that would have made a great role player off the bench. Great effort at filling a role Billy D. has given him.
    Parson is a huge burst of energy off the bench. When he comes in the whole team seems to get a boost. He fits the 6th man role as well as anyone in college ball. Another year of working on his feet coordination and he has huge potential as a guard. If he could add some weight & power and he would be a monster At the #3 position.
    Would love to see how both would perform if Florida had a stronger center situation. Maybe Kadji will be back in time to help the Gators close strong in the second half of league play. I’m guessing Werner and Parsons stats would benfit greatly.

    Loving Billy D. and the effort the team is giving.

  26. I think Parsons should start he is better. Parsons is our fourth leader scorer and to me he helps this team a lot more than Werner. I know some people think that Parsons is a bust, but how can we say that. H e was a 5 star recruit just like Brewer and is averaging about the same as Brewer did, but Billy has to give Parsons a chance by giving him more minutes. I see in the article that it is a thought that Werner is a better defender, but I disagree. If Parsons start we could have 5 starters in double figures and let Werner, Tishman, Murphy, Shipman, and Kadj come off the bench for quality minutes.

  27. Macklin really made in impact as a center against LSU. If he keeps that up I think Werner & Parson will be able to play their natural games. Wouldn’t be shocked to see much better stats from both. If Kadji makes it back Florida is going to be able to match up much better with the rest of the SEC.

    Florida dictating the style of the game, yowsa!

    Werner is a senior that gives his all, I love the way he stepped into playing the dirty role against some power forwards on opposing teams. I’m sure that is not his dream role. His stats have suffered. The senior should start for at least the first 2 minutes.

    Too many bitter Gator fans wanting more. Playing 100% at filling the role Donovan gives him is exactly what you want. Donovan sees the whole game and knows what role he needs form certain players. Werner and Parson are great Florida Gators. I totally enjoy seeing their efforts in every game.

    Hope Werner can tune out the bad Gator Fans ready to attack him because they don’t understand what role Donovan asks of him.

  28. Sure I get frustrated with Dan and what seems to be sloppy play and a total lack of confidence in his shot. Sometimes it even looks like he is not really concentrating but just throwing the ball up when he has a wide open three attempt. That being said, I think he really tries and is not such a detraction that he should be benched. I don’t think Parsons brings much more to the table. Some have said that Dan could not start for other SEC teams but then again if he had gone somewhere else who knows how he would have developed out of high school (where he was a good shooter) under other coaching. Probably would have been our worst nightmare raining down three’s when whatever team played us.

  29. If Murphy, Young and Prather don’t get a lot of playing time next
    year, it will be four straight years of missing the tournament.
    Macklin, Tyson and Parsons, knowing Donovan, will get too many
    minutes next year – these three represent one of the SEC’S
    weaker frontcourts. Don’t want to forget about Tishman. Let him
    play some.