Tuesday was a night to celebrate for Florida seniors Vernon Macklin, Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus.
All three wrapped up their careers at the O’Connell Center clinching a share of the SEC title after Florida routed Alabama 78-51. There are more goals to attain — including an outright SEC title, an SEC Tournament championship and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Macklin, Parsons and Tyus also have dreams of playing at the NBA level. The web site DraftExpress.com does not have any of the three players on its 2011 NBA mock draft board. But an NBA scout and an NBA executive that I spoke to this week both said that could change depending on how all three perform in the postseason.
“I think they are all on the radar,” said an NBA scout, who works for an Eastern Conference team. “I think all three could be drafted, or one, or two. A deep run (in the NCAA Tournament) will help them with exposure. It’s the last time that people will get a chance to see them five-on-five.”
The scout said that someone asked him about Parsons earlier this week. The scout saw Parsons play in person when Florida faced Xavier on New Year’s Eve and plans to attend the SEC Tournament.
“His size, his shooting and his ability to handle the ball will serve him well in workouts,” the scout said.
Meanwhile, an executive from an NBA Western Conference team said his team is highest on the 6-foot-10, 240-pound Macklin. Macklin has developed better post moves to complement his soft hook shot in the lane. Macklin is leading the SEC in field goal percentage at 57.8 percent.
“Macklin may have the best chance,” the executive said. “There’s a little bit of buzz about him now. He has a soft shot. Parsons has size and can handle the ball. People question the consistency of his shot. I think he’s a draftable player. I think Tyus will be a European player. People will bring him in for workouts.
“Of the three, Macklin is the player that we have the most interest in.”
The executive said he thinks Parsons will have the best chance of raising his stock if Florida makes a deep run in March.
“People have been kind of waiting for him to emerge since his freshman and sophomore year,” the executive said. “There had been questions about his toughness and his heart. I know he’s playing better now. They want to continue to see that improvement.”