Parsons Doubtful for LSU

The Gators don't know whether they will have senior forward Chandler Parsons Sunday against LSU, but they're preparing as if they won't. Florida head coach Billy Donovan said on Friday that Parsons is doubtful to start in the game, and his status is 50-50 to play right now.

"He has not practiced," Donovan said. "It's a question or whether or not he'll play Sunday, but it's 50-50. We're not concerned that if he does play there would be any more damage. The pain is subsiding, and he's done workouts in pools. He hasn't done any workouts or shooting. If he does play, I'd say he definitely won't start. It'd be a situation to put him in there to see how it feels."

Parsons will travel with the team either way. Donovan said the first few days after the injury were the most important to keep Parsons off it. He used crutches and elevation to make the injury feel better. The bruise started to bleed internally early in the week, but it has improved as the game gets closer.

The issue isn't centered around harming Parsons anymore. It comes down to pain tolerance.

"My biggest thing is- are we doing more harm to him?" Donovan said. "The answer is no. He'll be padded up enough that if he got hit there, it wouldn't be an issue. If I go into the game expecting him to play like before the Tennessee game, that would be a mistake on my part. I don't want to expect him to play at that level because he hasn't done anything all week wrong."

Donovan isn't sure what the starting lineup will look like with Parsons out of it, but there are two options. The Gators will either start three guards after putting freshman point guard Scottie Wilbekin in the lineup, or Casey Prather will get the start at small forward.

"It's not about one of those guys replacing Chandler," Parsons said. "It has to be a collective group of people and everyone has to raise their play. The team will change. Our team has to prepare like he's not going to play."

CLOSE WINS: There's no doubt that the Gators have won some close games this year that probably wouldn't have happened in recent seasons. It comes from a veteran group of players in Parsons, Alex Tyus and Vernon Macklin.

"They have a better understanding," Donovan said. "From a growth standpoint, there were games in the past where we would battle until there were three or four minutes left in the game, and then we'd lose by seven. These guys have grown and matured in a way that they have toughness in situations now."

The two early wins in SEC play came in overtime as the Gators stole victories at Tennessee and Georgia.

"In Tennessee and Georgia, it could've gone either way," Donovan said. "We really competed. Sometimes guys don't' want to play overtime, but we battled through it. The margin for error is so fragile this time of year, you can have a totally different feeling from reality."

TURNOVERS SNEAKING IN: The Gators struggled with turnovers early in the season, but the winning ways of SEC play made it look like the turnovers disappeared. They've snuck up in recent games.

They turned it over 16 times against South Carolina and 17 times against Tennessee.

"They're aware of it," Donovan said. "We had too many at South Carolina and at home at Tennessee. We made bad decisions at Tennessee. We were fortunate in the second half of South Carolina, we kept them down a little bit."

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