No. 14/14 Florida Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) head basketball 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 following his press availability Thursday.
KEEPING THEIR MINDS RIGHT
Capturing a portion of the 2011 Southeastern Conference regular season title is quite an accomplishment but having it all to yourself is even more special. Donovan did not distinguish between the two scenarios, noting that he was just happy the team has achieved a SEC Championship in general.
“If you win a SEC Championship, you win a SEC Championship. Anytime you’re a part of a SEC Championship, it is meaningful,” he said. “Obviously we have an opportunity and a chance to win it outright on Saturday, but we got to play against a really good team that has been exceptional at home and had a great year.”
With Alabama and Georgia squaring off before Florida takes on No. 20/21 Vanderbilt, Donovan is aware that he has to do something to make sure the Gators are focused on winning their game no matter the earlier outcome.
“I talked to our guys about this. We cannot allow ourselves to emotionally get caught up spectating in that game. That’s the human element and human nature that I’ve always talked about. They’ve got to distance themselves from that,” he said. “We’re going to know something before we go into Vanderbilt, and they’re probably going to hear things. But you can emotionally get sucked into that. We need to be focused on what we got to do in this game. We should not even worry or concern ourselves with stuff that’s going on outside of the guys that are inside that locker room. That’s something that I’ve got to address with those guys and I’ve got to talk to them about. That game should have no bearing on how we go out and play; to me, that’s easier said than done.”
Though Donovan indicated he has yet to discuss the topic with his team, senior forward Chandler Parsons seemed to have an idea what his coach’s instructions would be.
“I’m sure obviously we’re going to know who won going into the game, but I don’t think with as good of a team as we are…we’re still going to want to win the game even if Georgia happens to win, he said. “We’re still going to come out with the same mentality that we want to win the game. The same mentality we come out with for every game. It doesn’t matter what other teams do; it just matters what we do.”
FLORIDA’s FIRST SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR?
Donovan refused to prop himself up Tuesday night after his team’s big win for SEC Coach of the Year, but he had no problem heaping praise on Parsons in the hopes that he captures SEC Player of the Year honors.
“Chandler has had a terrific year. In my opinion, he should really, really strongly be considered for that,” Donovan said. “He is really multi-dimensional. He does a lot for our team. He rebounds, he passes it, he’s shot the ball better, he take sit to the basket. You can put the ball in his hands to make plays. There’s no question as far as versatility is concerned, he’s definitely the most versatile small forward in the league with all the things he can do.”
Asked who he thinks should win the award, Parsons refused to say himself, nervously stammering and trying to find the right words. Eventually he was able to answer the question in a politically correct manner.
“That’s really a tough question. I put myself in a good situation where I can be talked about, but I don’t know if I’m going to win or not. It really doesn’t matter to me. I just worry about my team right now,” he said. “It’s really flattering and stuff that people are talking about me winning it, but seriously I’m more worried about us winning Saturday, us going to the SEC Tournament and then the NCAA Tournament.”
Read what else Donovan and Parsons had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 3/3: Donovan on Parsons, Vanderbilt, SEC