2/24: Post-game notes: Parsons and Boynton

By Adam Silverstein
February 25, 2011

No. 13/13 Florida Gators (22-5, 11-2 SEC) head coach Billy Donovan likes to talk – and we like to listen – which is why we have compiled some of the most important news, notes and quotes after his team’s 71-62 win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Thursday.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES

Donovan saying that Florida was “fortunate in this game to only be down seven at the half” is an understatement. The Gators shot an embarrassing 37 percent from the floor in the opening period and at one point were being outshot 63-29 percent from the field. The reason? Florida’s defense – especially in and around the paint – was lackluster, something Donovan in the past has blamed on the team’s offensive inefficiency. When the ball doesn’t go in the basket, he says, the team stops trying on defense as well.

“The dominated us in the first half in the paint,” Donovan said, “but at least we got it back and made it reasonable.” That they did due to a terrific effort from sophomore guard Kenny Boynton and senior forward Chandler Parsons, each of whom scored the vast majority of their points in the second half.

PARSONS SHOWS HE’S TOUGH AND RESILIENT

Parsons may not have started Thursday, but he played a starter’s minutes. Averaging 33.3 minutes per game this season, Parsons was on the court for 30 on Thursday, with freshman starting F Casey Prather playing his usual seven minutes at the start of the game rather than spread throughout.

“He just went out and played. He got to the glass. He gave us a huge boost off the bench, getting 16 and seven; that was very helpful for our team to have him out there,” said Donovan of Parsons’s performance. “He really did a great job. I could see he was a little bit winded. We got him out of the game a few times to give him a blow, but he’s a tough kid. I was just happy to see him play aggressively.”

It was obvious that his stamina was understandably a bit of an issue having not played since Feb. 12, but the effort Parsons put in to getting healthy enough to contribute in a big way Thursday did not go unnoticed by the coaching staff. Over the last 11 days, Parsons had massage therapy, muscle stimulation and plenty of ice and relaxation while trying to reduce the swelling of his deep thigh bruise.

“What he did to get himself back was unbelievable. We had an assistant trainer in his room every night because he wanted to do that,” Donovan said. “I would say that, legitimately, he got five hours of treatment a day. […] He really worked hard to get back. Every time I was down there, he was around. He worked around the clock to get himself healthy. I’m proud he could come back and play and play the way he did tonight. He really worked hard, and I appreciate him working as hard as he did because he certainly helped our team tonight.”

Parsons also discussed how he was feeling after the game.

“It’s still sore, still something that I’m going to have to battle through. It’s not just going to go away, especially if I’m going to play on it,” he said. “It’s not going to go away anytime soon, but it’s not that severe. I just like to go out there and play. It’s just something I personally have to battle with. […] It’s not really like a pain, it’s just annoying…it’s sore.

“You’d have to cut off my leg for me to miss another game.”

Donovan talks about Boynton and his team’s performance…after the break!

BOYNTON’S TRIPLES MADE THE DIFFERENCE

In a close game, it is usually easy to pinpoint a missed foul shot or a defensive lapse for costing a team a victory. Thursday it was a flurry of 12 consecutive points (including three-straight treys) from Boynton that helped the Gators get over the hump.

“Boynton’s threes in the second half opened the game up,” Donovan said. “That was big.” He also discussed Boynton’s decision to jack up a fourth three-pointer and why he pulled him afterward.

“’We’re up 10, there’s 3:40 to go. You can get that [shot] later in the clock. Matter of fact, we can back you up to half court and you can let it go when the shot clock’s winding down,” he said. “He’s such a great guy to coach because I took him out and he says to me, ‘Coach, that wasn’t a good shot.’ I love coaching him because he understands.

“He’s a perfect example where, if you don’t give him that freedom, he’s playing tentatively. If he jacks up a couple bad ones, I get him back, I rein him in and I talk to him. But he opened up the game. Those nine points were huge. That’s what he does. When he all of a sudden makes one and then another one, it’s like ‘Let him shoot the three.’ That’s who he is. And he’s gotten better in terms of understanding when he misses three or four, ‘I got to pull back a little bit.’”

QUOTES

Donovan on winning the SEC East: “It’s been a great ride and also a frustrating…and every emotion that you can go through…from when I started with Chandler and Alex [Tyus] and even Vernon [Macklin] the year he sat out. It’s from where these kids started to where they are right now. […] They really earned it, deserved it, and I’m very proud of them for it.”

Donovan on playing at Kentucky on Saturday: “It’s a very, very difficult place to play. They probably, on average, win about 90 percent of their games there.”

Parsons on Donovan’s halftime speech about the team’s poor defense: “He wasn’t happy.”

Parsons on winning the SEC East: “We never once talked about winning the East. We have bigger goals than that. We want to win the entire conference. It’s definitely not going to come easy for us, but we’re ready to take on the challenge.”

Parsons on playing his second-to-last game in the O’Dome: “It’s going by quick. It’s all going by really fast. And it’s going to be over like next week. I now have one more home game left, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. You’d have to cut off my leg for me to miss another game.”

One Comment

  1. Basshole says:

    First half aside, I am really enjoying watching this team. They have so much resiliency, they don’t seem to quit… And Parson’s attitude is awesome, I love how hard he fought to get back on the court.

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