5 Reasons The Florida Gators Will Be OK Without Chandler Parsons

Patrick MangumContributor IFebruary 17, 2011

5 Reasons The Florida Gators Will Be OK Without Chandler Parsons

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Forward Chandler Parsons #25  of the Florida Gators drives against the Ohio State Buckeyes November 16, 2010 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    I'm not saying the Gators aren't better with Chandler Parsons. And I'm just saying that the Gators can get better while he's not playing.

    Injuries always have an effect on a team.

    Back-ups step up. Roles are changed. Games are altered.

    Sometimes that can be something that can build momentum and bring teams together. Coaches can use the opportunity to know their team better and inspire them to be better.

    Especially when you have a coach like Billy Donovan.

Billy Donovan

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    Billy Donovan has been in this situation before—nobody playing on this year's team has however.

    The mighty Florida Gators basketball team is 20-5 (9-2 SEC) and cruising toward a NCAA bid and also getting ready for the SEC tournament.

    That video is from April 3, 2006 when Billy was talking to a group of kids who started that year having not really accomplished much themselves.

    They of course went on to win back to back National Championships. Florida lost its last link to the '06-07 teams when everybody’s favorite, Dan Werner, graduated last year.

    Billy Donovan is trying to get this group of players to understand what it takes.

    I think Billy Donovan knows he has a good team. He also knows what it takes to be a great team and a National Champion. He’s educating them on that. They’re figuring it out but they’re not there yet.

    We’ll see when the SEC Tournament begins because that's real March basketball.

    These last few regular season games are more about getting better as a team than wins and losses—especially with the NCAA Tournament looming.

Erik Murphy and The Rest Of Florida's Bench

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Guard David Lighty #23 of the Ohio State Buckeyes sets on defense against the Florida Gators November 16, 2010 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Erik Murphy can step in and hit threes and rebound. He has been patiently waiting his turn for two years now.

    Maybe now is the time for his breakout.

    This team is one of the few teams that is more athletic when they go to their bench. Patric Young, Casey Prather, and Scottie Wilbekin are three freshmen with dreams of multiple national championships.

    Florida has the talent and depth to make a long run into this year's tournament.

    Chandler Parsons having some time off could end up benefiting the growth of Florida’s already deep bench.

Weak Year For SEC

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    NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 12:  Josh Harrelson #55 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots over John Jenkins #23 of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gym on February 12, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt won 81-77.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Just as it is a weak NCAA Tournament field this year, it is a weak SEC field this year.

    The SEC regular season title is just a two-horse race between Florida (9-2) and Alabama (8-2).

    Also, who cares about regular season titles anyway? SEC Basketball titles do not carry the same weight as football titles.

    I’m sure if Chandler Parsons is not back for the conference tournament, then he will definitely be back for the NCAA Tournament when it really counts.

Close Games

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    The real difference between this year and the past couple of years for Billy Donovan’s club has been winning the close ones.

    Florida is 7-1 this year in SEC games decided by six points or less, or in overtime (Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are a combined 5-11).

    Without Chandler Parsons, I think they still have enough talent to keep things close with any team they play.

Erving Walker

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    I call Walker "Little Big Shot" because he’s always ready to take the big time pressure shot.

    Although he may lose some games, he wins more of them.

    With all those close games that Florida plays, somebody needs to take the shot at the end of the game and he will volunteer for all of them if need be.

    And he’ll make more than he misses, I guarantee that.