Florida’s lone representative on the All-Southeastern Conference first and second team was sophomore point guard Erving Walker.
Walker earned All-SEC second-team honors based on his hot 3-point shooting start in league play and the fact that he’s fourth in the league in assists at 5.0 per game.
But an argument could have been made for Florida junior forward Chandler Parsons to make the team instead of Walker because Parsons has played better down the stretch.
UF coach Billy Donovan was asked Wednesday at the SEC Tournament if he felt like Parsons was snubbed.
“He certainly should have been considered,” Donovan said. “I’m sure he was considered, but there’s a lot of good players in our league that maybe some coaches thought maybe were a little deserving than Chandler.”
Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl called Parsons “the most improved player in the SEC, if not college basketball” following UF’s 75-62 win over the Vols last Feb. 22. Parsons followed that up with a career-high 29 point performance against Georgia, but was held to just three points against Vanderbilt and nine points against Kentucky.
Still, Donovan said he’s been pleased with the strides Parsons has made physically and mentally this season.
“I wouldn’t trade him,” Donovan said. “I really have enjoyed the strides he’s made, and I think he’s one of the better wing players in our league. I do believe that.”
Parson’s could have been performing at the level he has performed the 2nd half of the year, all year and even last year, had he been given more court time to develop. Ballers don’t develop on the bench. Billy has always had some players he keeps on a short leash and others he has a long leash. Long leash are guys like Walsh, Werner, Nelson, Bonner. Players, who regardless of how bad a stretch they are having they are given the opportunity to play through that period and continue to grow and develop on the court.
Then he has players who have to perform at a high leval all the time, or Donovan sits them down for long stretches and then tells the media all the reasons why they are not ready to play. Those players consisted of James White, Parsons, Harvey to some extent sat a good bit coming of the bench, Jonathan Mitchell, Mario Boggans, and even Jason Williams was consistently and constantly sat down during his career.
Guys who were pure Billy Ballers, three point shooters always received greater playing status. Guys who were considered ballers have often been under utilized by Donovan. I think because he just doesn’t value their game as much. I think on some level they guys who remind him of himself, his game, how he developed his game as a shooter, are the players’ games he relates to the most, and his system caters to the most.
As we move forward over the years, the game is moving toward players who can ball. Handle the rock, penetrate, dish, stop and pop, attack the rim, attack the glass, all with athleticism and freakish gifts. The days where a Billy Donovan like player and Providence like team going to the Final Four are over. The evolution of this game is the game is getting more athletic every year. Teams with the best athletes, balling within the structure of team play and strong defense are the ones that will dominate. Teams like most UF, Duke, or Bobby Knight IU teams will be absent from Final Fours.
Mark my words Duke will run into a team that just flat out beats them in the NCAAs on athleticism. I think Duke is playing great basketball, this time of they year they always do. Their players know how to play the game better than any team every year. But their knowledge is trumped by a smart team that has better physical attributes. Primarily quickness on defensee, ability to get to loose balls, and beating Duke defenders off the dribble. UF has to move away from being Duke-lite, to being like the last several teams which have won titles, including UF’s two year run, in which the team moved away from Billy Ball and played contemporary ball, with a team of ballers. Great athletes, with freakish ability or physical attributes.
Enough already with the slow stiffs like Werner, the vagabonds from basketball foreign wastelands like Tishman, the novelty guards like Walker who gets his shot block during key times in key late season games, a bevy of Florida bred players who have a remarkable average to below average basketball IQ.
I read the first paragraph of the comment above and said “I know this is Sid”. Sure enough…
Parsons didn’t dominate in the big games. Hitting miracle shots against weak teams doesn’t make you all conference.
Sid sure knows Billy’s shortcomings. If Billy would just recruit a tough center to own the inside, with a tall, skinny guy with rebounding and scoring skilss to complement him, and a long-armed, super-fast flyer who’ll shut down opponents’ best guards and forwards, and a 3-point gunner who is quicker than he looks, and finally a steady point guard to run the show, penetrate, hit 3s and get assists we could move away from the Providence model Billy loves. Maybe he can find Cris Richard and some other role-players for the bench.
Why can’t Billy be as smart as Sid?
I’m sure Billy purposely tried not to replicate the championship teams because of his nostalgic feelings about his Providence days. You’re a genius. You figured it out.