On a Florida roster filled to the brim with young talent, such as Marreese Speights
and Nick Calathes
, sophomore combo-forward Chandler Parsons
was often overlooked in his freshman season. In a reserve role, he quietly delivered solid numbers to the tune of 8.1 ppg (47.2% FG, 32.4% 3FG, 62.7% FT), 4.0 rpg, and 1.4 apg in 20.7 minutes per game. This coming season, with Marreese Speights
lost to the NBA ranks, Parsons will be relied upon to take on a more significant role in Billy Donovan
Standing 69 and allegedly weighing about 213 pounds after an aggressive strength-training regimen this summer, Parsons has spectacular size for the wing and should be better equipped to play in the post. Parsons is a good athlete, looking quite mobile and fluid in his movements for a player his size. His work ethic is well documented as well as and should allow him to continue to work on his physical profile throughout his time in Gainesville.
Offensively, Parsons is a prototypical collegiate combo-forward, most known at this point for his streaky perimeter shooting. According to Synergy Sports Technologys Statistics Database, spot-up jumpshots consisted of 35.7% of his offense. His shooting motion looks fairly good at this stage with his feet set, but his stroke loses significant accuracy when rushed or forced to pull up off the dribble. Parsons needs to work quickening the speed of his release, as his somewhat deliberate mechanics often take too long to get off. Parsons has nice touch and solid range on his perimeter shot and looks to be able to develop into a very good shooter in the future should he continue to improve on his consistency.
Elsewhere on the offensive end, Parsons is not nearly as developed. His most glaring weakness at this stage is his ball-handling ability. He dribbles the ball far too high and visibly slows down with the ball in his hands. If he could improve in this area, his offensive game looks as though it would expand significantly. He has shown the ability to get to the basket off of the dribble utilizing his solid first step, quickness, and outstanding touch around the basket, as well as flashes of a mid-range game. That being said, Parsons shows neither skill with any sort of consistency and must show such improvements during this upcoming season if he wants scouts to consider him a potential small forward at the next level. 50% of his attempts from the field currently come from beyond the arc, which tells you a bit about his mentality and polish as a slasher.
Parsons spends most of his time away from the basket, but when he decides to play in the post, he is not incredibly effective. His added bulk should help, but Parsons does not have a very advanced post arsenal outside of using his size and quickness to get around defenders to the hoop. He shows outstanding touch around the basket and does a good job positioning himself for put-backs, but expanding his post-game is another area where Parsons must improve next year, especially considering the fact that hes one of Floridas top returning players with any significant size.
Defensively, Parsons isnt yet anything to write home about, but he looks to have the potential to be a solid defender in the future. Utilizing his long arms and solid lateral quickness, Parsons has the ability to guard collegiate wings. In the awareness department, Parsons has a long way to go. He gives his man too much room on the perimeter and often gives up shots because of his inability to close his man out. In the post, Parsons lacked the strength to efficiently defend his man and it remains to be seen whether or not his off-season work will positively influence his post defense, specifically his lackluster rebounding numbers.
Parsons is nowhere near a finished product and would likely be best suited staying at Florida for two to three more seasons. Like most collegiate combo-forwards, there is certainly a wait-and-see aspect in terms of Parsonss development. If he continues to progress, however, he could emerge as one of the more interesting prospects in the SEC and cement his place as a legitimate draft contender. That being said, considering how well Billy Donovan
and his staff have developed players in the past, particularly between their freshman and sophomore seasons, dont be surprised if you hear the name Chandler Parsons
more often during this coming year.