Former Florida standout Chandler Parsons turned down an offer to play in France this season.
Parsons said he plans to stay in America to train until the NBA lockout ends, but is “keeping his options open.” The 6-foot-10 Parsons, who was the first Florida player ever to be named SEC player of the year, was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the second round (38th overall) last June.
With players and owners far apart in collective bargaining, some NBA players have already opted to play overseas. New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams has signed to play in Turkey. Kobe Bryant also is being courted by a Turkish club and Nets backup point guard Jordan Farmar signed to play with Israeli champion Maccabi Tel Aviv.
— Two start times have been set in UF’s non-conference schedule. Florida will play at Syracuse on 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 on ESPN. The Gators also will play Texas A&M at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise.
— Congratulations to Alex Tyus, who completed his conversion to Judaism in Gainesville this week. Tyus is at IMG Academy in Bradenton preparing for his first season to play in Israel for Maccabi Ashod.
— Not good news for UF’s current 2012 commitments. Point guard commit Braxton Ogbueze fell from 29 to 36 in Dave Telep’s ESPNU Top 100 prospect ratings. Shooting guard commit Michael Frazier fell from 51 to 95.
– In better 2012 recruiting news, top power forward prospect Mitch McGary has kept Florida in his final six choices, with Maryland, Duke, Michigan, North Carolina and Kentucky. McGary is rated as ESPNU’s third-best prospect in the country.
— Tennessee is trying to move on from its scandalous past with new coach Cuonzo Martin.